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Wayside Observer

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About Wayside Observer

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    In your worst nightmares

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  1. I saw a bus. TTC 8086 crossing under the UP Express tracks at Pearson. Couldn’t read the sign and don’t know which route it was on. 50/50 shot it was on Malton or whatever the Airport Rocket is called now.
  2. I wonder how much it cost to rip out the hot water heating system and install forced air throughout the house? That's not a small modification. When the place went up for sale a bit over a year ago, it was for the most part in the same condition my family left it in when we moved out in 86. Let's have a little then and now between the era of Gloucsters, PCCs, trolleybuses to that of Toronto Rockets, Flexities, and if you're lucky, you might see a battery bus out there for a couple of hours. Let's start off with the living room. The original 1936 fireplace made it a very cozy room once a couple of splints of wood were started. Beautiful hardwood floors and the wood trim is still in good shape as are the leaded glass windows. Time to turn up the blandness. Generic windows. Generic everything. Wide plank engineered flooring instead of that beautiful hardwood because you gotta have it because that's what everyone's doing. Feel the peer pressure yet? WTF is with that ugly gas fireplace? Trim is either painted out or replaced for good measure. Let's move back to the dining room. We had a nice buffet in that alcove. Lovely wood trim and nice glass in the doors to the living room and that wood wainscotting would cost a fortune today. I don't have a problem with open concept layouts if they're done well. The walls separating the dining room from the living room and the kitchen were removed. Not bad, especially since it opened up the kitchen which was pretty narrow. The alcove is still there. I don't think they realized it's been provided so you can put a sideboard or buffet there but ok. But painting out that wood wainscotting? It's ruined. Even if someone tries to restore that down the road from now, it won't come back as good as it was before being painted. I think all the hardwood floors got trashed. More wood and leaded glass throughout. The tile floor is a change made after we left. The original hardwood went all the way to the front door still when we lived there. This was the best picture I could find showing the entranceway and the staircase. More wood's been painted out. Yech. The staircase to the basement's been opened up because the house flipper finished it vs. being just a giant furnace room up until now. However, they missed something. They missed replacing that leaded glass window at the bottom of the stairs with another generic flat sheet of glass. Ooops. As much as parts of that house needed to be updated, it could've been done a lot more tastefully without outright trashing a lot of the beautiful original features that were in great shape and turning into a crude attempt at retroactively ramming present day cheap and nasty construction styles into what was a very nicely appointed 80-odd year old house.
  3. The first house I grew up in, in Toronto went on the market about a year ago and turns out it sold to a house flipping real estate agent who’s just resold it after renovating it. This house was a Great Depression house built when if you had just a little bit of money, it would go far because all the finest materials and all the best craftsmen were available at steep discounts. This was a gorgeous house with leaded glass windows everywhere and lots of beautiful wood inside. They completely trashed and douchebagified the place. All the beautiful wood and leaded glass and hardwood flooring is gone. All the beautiful plasterwork is gone. It’s post-modern millennial generic sterile style now. It’s all cheap drywall and Home Depot light fixtures, nasty engineered flooring, and poorly thought out rearrangement of the upstairs. A second bathroom was wedged into one of the bedrooms at the expense of the closets in two of the rooms plus some additional lost space. The Art Deco mantelpiece in the living room is gone and there’s a crappy surround around this cheesy gas insert in what was a great wood burning fireplace. The living room used to be a good sounding room too. It was a great place to turn up the stereo and listen to music but from the materials and finishes chosen, I don’t think it would sound as good now, but that doesn’t matter when the idea of having a good sounding music system has been replaced with the sound bar or a smart speaker. I’m not sure how the breakfast room off the kitchen that opened onto the back porch became a den isolated from the rest of the house by the kitchen but ok. How much does a tasteless botch job that looks like the inside of a junky condo like this sell for? Over two million dollars. Pardon me while I barf.
  4. I have this playing on the big sound system right now: Traffic - 1994 Woodstock concert Yeah, I'm old.
  5. Texas style barbecue smoked beef ribs and maple sweet potatoes. Kept it simple for dinner with a bunch of football friends.
  6. I think 1989 was the last good year but things were starting to get a bit thin so maybe we should think about nudging it back a couple of years for best though. Here’s the reasoning: If we back it up a little bit to 88 or 87, we still have the first few H6 and ALRV cars but before enough of them arrived to start seriously decimating the G and PCC fleets. If we bump it back to 86, those fleets were barely touched and Carlton was all PCC all the time!
  7. I’m genuinely curious: What is the TTC planning to do with the huge collection of CLRV headlights they’ve amassed that’s far greater than any reasonable requirement for spares for the remaining active cars between now and the end of the year?
  8. Yeah? So how come so many Brits have been trying to see if they have enough family connections to Ireland to meet Irish passport eligibility requirements to skate around Brexit? How come they use Euros in Ireland and not Sterling? How come the UK passports specifically say "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" to differentiate between Ireland? Do you think Canadians and Americans are the same thing too?
  9. Obsessed is probably too strong a word. Definitely interested though. Back when I was young, back in the old "Toronto - The City That Works" days, the TTC was going through a major transition between the old and the new. There were a ton of different kinds of PCCs but CLRVs too. They still had couplers. How many people out there today even know they're multiple unit cars? There were tons of Gloucesters mixed in with M and H cars. All the trolleybus lines were still going. There was a mix of various buses painted in red and cream and a mix of various buses painted in the CLRV colours. The Scarborough RT was opening up and it was supposed to be fantastic space age progress. Nobody, at least not publicly, knew about the shortcomings with ICTS yet or what a basketcase white elephant of an orphan line it was going to become. There were still three Peter Witt cars grinding around downtown on the tour tram. It was a fantastic eclectic mix of old and new and I couldn't help but be interested in how and why the vehicles were so wildly different from each other. I've been watching "Black" on Netflix and honestly, if I suddenly got bounced back to 1986 for a couple of days, I'd have a blast enjoying it all over again!
  10. I don't know why this is but between my own personal experience and anecdotal evidence, there seems to have been a real rash of reliability problems with portable solid state storage the last few years. I haven't observed any problems with computer SSDs that have taken the place of internal hard drives. Everything I've had problems with or heard about other people having problems with has been the portable removable media. I hardly use variants of SD cards but I use USB sticks and I've gone through a ton of them that have either been dead on arrival or died within a few days or a couple of weeks of being bought and put into use. Honestly, it makes me nostalgic for the old days when I never had problems with magnetic tape or photographic film, computer diskettes, CD-Rs, hell, I used Zip disks heavily and never had any problems with those like the click of death either. But modern flash storage? Total crapshoot. It's like there's no quality control or the defective units aren't being destroyed at the factories but are getting repackaged sold under second and tier brand names or in knockoff product packaging.
  11. Like I said, if the politicians want to keep the Thunder Bay plant working, they need to get off their collective rear ends and give the green light to a whole bunch of projects that have been sitting on various back burners in tried and true Toronto and Ontario style being dragged out for all eternity and get moving on them and get the vehicle orders placed. The logical starting place would be the 60 car option order for more streetcars that have been badly needed for decades because the need for those is immediate and there's really minimal lead time on anything that needs to be done on the customer end to begin receiving them vs. building a good chunk of new projects before being able to start taking deliveries of new vehicles. That would help tide the plant over until some of the later projects happen. I truly can't believe the drivel coming out of Queen's Park. They're surprised that idled factories lay of workers? This is news to them? And these conservatives talk about how great their business expertise is and how badly needed it is in government, yet they say their shocked that workers at idled factories get laid off when there are no customer orders to build. So much for all that supposed vaunted business expertise if they don't grasp the simple basics like this.
  12. Tracy Chapman - Give Me One Reason. I ended up with a second hand thrift store copy of New Beginning and let the album play through beginning to end. I never liked this song all that much when it was being played heavily on the radio in the mid 1990s but I really enjoyed listening to it off of the CD. I could hear a lot of the subtleties and nuances in the music that the radio stations' on air processing totally clobbered and it sounded great, unlike the way it sounded on the radio back in the day. Mix 99.9, I'm looking at you.
  13. First off, before anybody gets their shirt in a knot with the pedantic ‘wrong topic’ teeth gnashing nonsense, I’m posting this here because it’s relevant because Bombardier and the predecessor companies that have owned the Thunder Bay plant have been a long standing supplier of vehicles to TTC going back many decades back all the way to the Can-Car days. Bombardier Thunder Bay layoffs Of course, it’s no surprise that a pro-business, private sector knows best, cut the waste conservative politician like Caroline Mulroney is saying Bombardier should keep the staff employed there even when there are no orders on the books as if she thinks the company should be paying people to sit around doing nothing once the existing manufacturing orders finish up. Honestly, the city of Toronto needs to get off its duff and place that 60 car option order even if it means spending city money to pay for it. The streetcars are badly needed, the cost will only go up once the production line and supply chains wind down, and it’ll keep the plant working a bit longer while they look for other contracts. And if the Ontario government is serious about keeping the place working, maybe it’s time to stop blowing hot air and actually get a move on doing serious, substantial transit expansion and start placing orders for vehicles with staggered delivery dates as new lines and extensions open up.
  14. I would be hard pressed to call a lot of the stuff posted in the transit parts of the forum “meaningful” though.
  15. And why an El Paso style rebuild specifically? The ones they did for MUNI recently were kept much closer to original than the El Pasos.
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