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Wayside Observer

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  1. This sort of thing is a sore spot with me too. The Metro store at the plaza up the street from me used to be 24 hour. It was great when I was on the 4:00-midnight shift and I'd get off the highway, cruise down the main street in the area to the plaza, pick up whatever I needed while it was quiet and then zip around the corner home and call it a night. The same was true about being able to get things before heading out to a midnight start without having to worry about getting it all done before the 9:00 PM closing time that all the stores have settled on in this area. Unfortunately, that ended when they renotaved the store and they started closing it overnight to provide time for the construction work. The hours never got put back once they finished and I asked about it several times but all I got was softball excuses. The worst was when they put this awful 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM shift on at work for a number of years. Thankfully that has since been abandoned because it was a nightmare trying to get anything done by the time you factor in the commute time on either side of those hours. Everything's set up around a 9-5 world and if you happen to work shifts, get stuffed, figure out a way to work around it.
  2. When I think of 3295, like I said in the previous post, this is what I comes to mind from the same place Leary is from: Somewhere between Yonge and Bathurst, I realized I was on the TTC’s 3295 which actually probably can be chartered despite Leary, not that it’s particularly interesting.
  3. One of my acquaintances at SEPTA was a manager that came up through streetcars and upper management bounced him to one of the Market-Frankford carhouses briefly. They started familiarizing him on the M4 cars and the line and that was one of the big adjustments for him on the half training run he had was blasting through switches at full speed. Not slowly, not stop and proceed, but full MAS. The half training run was because the second half was cancelled when the control centre had a crew from a train that died take over and put the training train into passenger service. The stint at the Market-Frankford shop was similarly short lived before going back to trolleys.
  4. Oh god, I walked by a TV and caught about 10 seconds of a Public Health Canada combined COVID-19 and Monkeypox update which was about 11 seconds too much for me and left me hearing the music and the line "...there ain't no life on monkey island..." with that guitar behind it and the song got stuck in my head:
  5. 2017 sounds about right. I don't think we're going to see PCCs back on the Harbourfront, at least not this year for sure. Remember they stopped it and Brad Ross said something to the effect that it wasn't because they couldn't, but they needed to concentrate on keeping the CLRVs running with the pandemic happening right after keeping the CLRVs running became a non-issue. Now it's the overhead wire and lack of pantographs. One of the justifications the TTC had for the insane charter rates was that the public didn't need to charter the PCC, they could go ride it down on the Harbourfront except even that got taken away without any return in sight.
  6. The TTC charter price escalation has been legendary for at least 10 years now so it shouldn't be news to anyone except new people. The problems with the historic fleet unfortunately run a bit more extensive than the refusal to put pantographs on them. 4500 has been sidelined for a couple of years even before the pandemic started because the wheels need to be replaced. The treads are thin enough that they got condemned, apparently. This one I actually believe; if you look at charter pictures from 25+ years ago, you can see how thin the wheels were in the late 1990s and add in what use it had before the TTC skyrocketed charter prices which caused use to drop off a cliff. 2766 was always very infrequently chartered because of the requirement to have an extra car on either side. This was hung on a report written by Ray Corley and the justification was no track brakes. Merited or not, this policy priced 2766 so high that Peter Witt charters were very rare when they were possible and it hasn't even been listed as available on the TTC charter page in four or five years, maybe more. The fact that a CLRV or PCC is a "request quote" item basically means it's now in the category of if you have to ask, you can't afford it. So yes, the TTC has been told to keep a historic fleet, it isn't usable or accessibly priced anymore. Malicious compliance is still compliance. With Rick Leary here, they're going to become the equivalent of 3295 and the Type 5 except you can at least see those from one of the platforms at Boylston unlike here where they're stored out of sight.
  7. Thanks, it turned out well. What really set the ham off was the three little pieces of cherry wood I put on the grill. That gave it a very faint, sweet smokey flavour without being overpowering. I've never done that before, I only really use smoke wood in the smoker and on the coals in there. Between me mowing the lawn and then doing that plus the multigenerational Indian family that moved in two doors away, the miserable neighbour in between the two of us must've been grinding her teeth! Shucks.
  8. It’s nice enough to be out in a T-shirt barbecuing and I’ll probably eat out here as well tonight. Sunday was cook stuff that was getting close to hitting the best before date. Chicken medallions and a small ham plus a small bonfire after a friend arrived: The 2022 back yard season is finally, finally open even if it’s been a touch on the cool side.
  9. Booze-free pedal pubs and $300 fines for wine in the park: Toronto’s idea of summer fun (alternate link) Oh brother, "booze-free pedal pubs"? Does this sound like the beverage version of the "Toronto a la Cart" fiasco from 15+ years ago?
  10. Gateway Newstands — a mainstay of TTC stations — goes into creditor protection after getting slammed by the pandemic (alternate link) I haven't been using the subway much lately. Any feet on the ground reports of franchisees folding shops in the stations?
  11. The unfortunate thing whatever your position on buck a ride is, is that since the idea has been there, it's a shame that the opportunity to have a meaningful discussion about fare and subsidy levels that's really badly needed has been completely overshadowed by the election campaign. So far it's been a total loss on discussing what to do about transit fares, if anything, if not necessarily a temporary buck a ride program.
  12. Playing around with the image recognition search on my phone looking for something and came across these shots I grabbed on December 21, 2018. They were too good to pass up on posting. I guess anyone can have a car conk out: Also seen in the right side on the last one, look carefully at the sign on the building, an honest to god mom and pop TV repair shop. Unreal.
  13. If, and it’s still a big if, buck a ride happens, everyone I talked to about it thinks existing service might end up packed from people seeing “near-free” as a refuge from $2/litre gas. In other words, due to the economics involved here, there is a real possibility the demand the artificially low pricing could induce could well exceed what existing services can carry. And that could backfire in terms of unhappy customers swearing off transit after trying it for the first time in ages. Of course, there’s also the possibility it might not move the needle a whole lot with choice riders depending on how wound up the fear of COVID-19 with them still is.
  14. Apparently tax refunds are lower across the board this year. The carbon tax rebate got moved out of the income refund to be distributed quarterly starting this July. The first one was supposed to be this April but it's going to be doubled up in the July deposit. With that being deposited separately, it's caused income tax refunds to drop for anyone who was claiming and getting the carbon tax rebate.
  15. I just got home. Football player called me on Wednesday saying he had a CFL camp on Friday (today) and a helmet and shoulder pads are required, but he only has a helmet. Can he borrow my shoulder pads for it? Football player does not have a full set of football equipment. WTF happened to the gear he had during our last season before the pandemic? I don't know. He's not borrowing the pads I use, forget that, but I have a set somewhere that were part of a pads + helmet deal years ago so I ended up with extras so I said I'd dig that up and he can have them. It beats trying to sell them on Kijiji etc. I told him I'd drop them off yesterday evening after work. That didn't work out. Football player was way out in Scarborough checking uncle into a hotel! They couldn't afford to feed themselves breakfast on Sunday so WTF is the money coming from for this? More emergency transfers from back home? Putting uncle in the hotel turned into an all afternoon and all evening affair. I got a message at 11:15 PM saying he's heading back to his place and I said no, I'll have to do pads in the morning, I need sleep. So this is it: https://marauders.ca/sports/2022/4/21/cfl-free-agent-camp.aspx?fbclid=IwAR1xrWPKY0WW_Q1pxCjP7f8389XfbL83ghHd4Vnul0UTXActhlKf-mAdPnY You pay your $50 or $80 for whichever tier of tryout/exhibition or whatever you want to call it, gear up, go through whatever they've got set up, get filmed, and hope someone there is impressed and notices you. I hope he does a lot better there than he has at our practices. 26 year old football player's been sitting on the bench, sitting in the player's box, sitting on the turf winded with his cardio bottoming out and if that's what ends up happening during the whole combine, he's wasting his money. I had to get back to work so I didn't stay long enough to ask what the deal with uncle in this hotel in Scarborough was. I don't know how it's being paid for. I don't know how long he's planning to stay there. I don't know what he's planning on doing while he's there but if what I saw on the weekend was anything to go by, the free wi-fi's going to be passing a lot of video data from Instagram. I don't know why get him on a plane back home so he can see if he can get his old job back and try to pick up his old life where he left off as best as he can isn't at the top of the list. The chick in Niagara Falls, if she even ever existed, isn't coming back so I really hope he isn't hitting his extended family up for money to stay here hoping she does and the whole move in and live happily ever after storybook ending happens because it isn't.
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