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Just saw a trailer for America's Most Wanted airing Mondays at 9 PM on Fox. Hosting is Elizabeth Vargas.

I remember the original run which was from 1988 until 2011 with John Walsh. Roughly 25 seasons and over 1,000 episodes in 23 years. Considering that it was cancelled due to high production costs providing a public service which attracts a lot of viewers and encouraging vigilance. Reminds me of Live PD and how they had their missing/wanted segment with how it attracts a lot of viewers.

I won't deny that shows like America's Most Wanted and Live PD have shown results in leading to the arrest of suspects that are aired. Being a massive platform and having to modernize how tips are handled and communicating of information. Reaching a large audience. 

Hopefully Fox retains it for the long-term and not short-term. Especially how The Simpsons was just renewed for Season 33 and 34 (two additional years) along with the upcoming 700th episode on March 21st. They always do something special every 100 episodes. 

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Not sure if  this is a SMH, WTF or FY moment.

Got a form in the mail (addressed to my moms estate) regarding the CPP Child Rearing Provision. This provision increases your CPP amount by deducting up to five years of low or low income due to child rearing. Since CPP only started in 1966, and it applies to children under the age of 7 (unless infirm), not sure moms estate will get much out of this.  (I was 7 y/o in 1966).

However, either she will get some retro CPP from this, or it will be used to calculate a lump sum Survivor Benefit which will be made out to her estate and mailed in cheque form.

(When I first opened the envelope and saw the Child Rearing Provision form, I was like WTF, followed by a SMH).

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Interesting that Rogers is planning to acquire Shaw Communications which is now worth $26 billion dollars. A significant premium from the $20.4 billion dollar figure quoted. Currently Shaw's market capitalization is just over $16 billion dollars after the significant jump from the acquisition news.

Noting Shaw operates cable operations from Northern Ontario and west of that area. Rogers covers Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland/Labrador. Videotron covers Quebec.

Even if Rogers has all the cash and debt capacity for the acquisition, it will be an uphill battle if the federal government will allow such an acquisition on such a massive scale. 

https://financialpost.com/telecom/rogers-to-acquire-shaw-communications-in-deal-worth-26-billion

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I’m going through that lot of camera equipment I was given about 18 months ago with the idea of digging out the Mamiya TLR that was in there with the idea of going to take some pictures with a friend tomorrow.

There were a couple of things in its bag including a bunch of filters, speed grip, some miscellaneous lens caps and a light meter that’s hopefully still good.  Selenium photo cells can age and become less sensitive over time so we’ll see.  Fingers crossed because it would be very handy plus the way it works is a great little example of analog computing.

The Mamiya itself is beautiful.

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Film cameras like these are a tour de force of precision machining and mechanical engineering.  No batteries required, it’s purely mechanical action in these.

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And I guess we know where it was bought.  Downtown Camera’s moved a few times since this was sold but I never thought they’d end up in the same building as Henry’s.

The whole camera bag the Mamiya was in is a total trip back to the days before affordable, quality digital photography became available and the only way to take a photograph was on film with a camera like this and the bag full of miscellaneous accessories like the light meter and the filters that go with it.

I just got off the phone with the friend talking about what black and white film to bring and a bunch of other stuff about getting our respective kits ready to go for tomorrow.  We both stopped and realized that the transition is no longer in progress or even recent, that the pre-digital-everything era is truly in the past now.

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Curiosity got the better of me:

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The selenium photo cell in that Vivitar is giving enough output in the crappy overcast end of the day light in the back yard to swing the red needle.   That’s good news since it isn’t dead or lost a huge amount of sensitivity, but is it accurate?  Or is it going to be blown exposures if the sensitivity’s dropped and causing low readings that’ll result in over exposure?  The values look credible at first glance based on what I was seeing but it really needs a proper test.

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So to test the vintage selenium reflected light meter, I put it up against an incident light meter, and a spot meter.  Unfortunately I didn’t do all three at the same time and the amount of cloud’s changing a little bit and what sun there was above it was going rapidly as I got the other two meters out of the mothballs and up and running with new batteries.  But I’d say that’s not bad, ISO 100 on all of them and they all pretty well agree at f2 and change as the light was dripping while I did my tests at 1/250th.

Notice how the sliding scales and the two needles work on the Vivitar along with all those sliding scales?  Total analog computing like it’s a multiple input slide rule with a light sensor.  Once you have your film speed set, pick an aperture or pick a shutter speed, then slide the other scale to make the two needles meet.  That’s where proper exposure occurs.  Then look at the time and f number scales to read off the settings for your camera.

The interesting thing is once it’s set, the scales show every possible combination of aperture and shutter speed for that film speed and lighting condition and it gives the exposure value for it all.  You don’t have to futz around with retaking readings etc if you change your mind and decide to change the opening of the aperture or the shutter speed, just look for the one you want to use and read off the corresponding value next to it on the other scale.

I’m feeling pretty confident taking those out tomorrow with the Mamiya and the Bronica tomorrow for a day of medium format photography.  Hopefully the weather’s going to be good.

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On 3/15/2021 at 11:41 AM, GTAmissions1 said:

Interesting that Rogers is planning to acquire Shaw Communications which is now worth $26 billion dollars. A significant premium from the $20.4 billion dollar figure quoted. Currently Shaw's market capitalization is just over $16 billion dollars after the significant jump from the acquisition news.

Noting Shaw operates cable operations from Northern Ontario and west of that area. Rogers covers Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland/Labrador. Videotron covers Quebec.

Even if Rogers has all the cash and debt capacity for the acquisition, it will be an uphill battle if the federal government will allow such an acquisition on such a massive scale. 

https://financialpost.com/telecom/rogers-to-acquire-shaw-communications-in-deal-worth-26-billion

Nearly 24 hours later, Sobeys (one of the leading grocery chains in Canada) is planning to acquire Ontario-based Longo's. 

Reminds me when Sobeys acquired Farm Boy back in the fall of 2018. I don't recall the last time I shopped inside a Longo's grocery store other than using their Grocery Gateway service a couple months back.

FACT: there was time that Grocery Gateway was owned by Sobeys (if my memory served me right) until it was sold to Longo's back in 2004. Still with groceries, I've been using the Voilà grocery delivery service that Sobeys owns (so far, I have good success!). 

 

Further reading:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/sobeys-stake-longos-1.5951288

https://strategyonline.ca/2021/03/16/empire-grows-its-ecomm-business-with-longos-purchase/

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6 hours ago, FutureHeartsJunkie said:

Nearly 24 hours later, Sobeys (one of the leading grocery chains in Canada) is planning to acquire Ontario-based Longo's. 

Reminds me when Sobeys acquired Farm Boy back in the fall of 2018. I don't recall the last time I shopped inside a Longo's grocery store other than using their Grocery Gateway service a couple months back.

FACT: there was time that Grocery Gateway was owned by Sobeys (if my memory served me right) until it was sold to Longo's back in 2004. Still with groceries, I've been using the Voilà grocery delivery service that Sobeys owns (so far, I have good success!). 

Further reading:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/sobeys-stake-longos-1.5951288

https://strategyonline.ca/2021/03/16/empire-grows-its-ecomm-business-with-longos-purchase/

It is interesting how the major companies are acquiring the smaller ones like you mentioned. Never forget when Loblaws acquired Shoppers Drug Mart for $12.4 billion dollars with a mix of cash and stocks on top of assuming their debt too. Noting that Shoppers Drug Mart is the cash cow for Loblaws.

Noting that grocery stores run on very thin profit margins and relying on the sales volume to make their revenue. A lot of overhead costs involved in running a grocery store. 

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Saw this article about how the Ontario government plans to phase out fax machines. Especially when some people send documents electronically password protected or through other channels. Though there are still some places such as doctor's offices that fax prescriptions to pharmacies. 

When I had to provide proof of income for a "repayment assistance program" application, they gave a fax number noting that any correspondence sent to them needs the loan number attached to pull up the account on file. I didn't have a fax machine, so had to scan a copy of the document and mail directly to the address provided. 

On the other hand, scanners and photocopiers are still needed in case documents need to be scanned in or copies needed to be attached in place of the original. Some government services require the original sent with an application before anything can be processed.

Governments trying to save money where they can, but also need to modernize how they handle and communicate info where possible. Especially some departments with the amount of bureaucracy involved too.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/ontario-fax-machines-1.5955753?

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Just finished half an hour of 'walking' / 'transit fanning' in Vancouver. ♥  This is so amazing. Select a city, choose day or night time, 'city sounds' on or off (optional), and go for a walk.  Of course where most people would enjoy the sights, us transit fans are always on the lookout for buses / trolleys / streetcars etc. 

 

https://citywalks.live/

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On 3/19/2021 at 8:17 PM, GTAmissions1 said:

Saw this article about how the Ontario government plans to phase out fax machines. Especially when some people send documents electronically password protected or through other channels. Though there are still some places such as doctor's offices that fax prescriptions to pharmacies. 

When I had to provide proof of income for a "repayment assistance program" application, they gave a fax number noting that any correspondence sent to them needs the loan number attached to pull up the account on file. I didn't have a fax machine, so had to scan a copy of the document and mail directly to the address provided. 

On the other hand, scanners and photocopiers are still needed in case documents need to be scanned in or copies needed to be attached in place of the original. Some government services require the original sent with an application before anything can be processed.

Governments trying to save money where they can, but also need to modernize how they handle and communicate info where possible. Especially some departments with the amount of bureaucracy involved too.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/ontario-fax-machines-1.5955753?

I still use fax machines (not to receive, but to send low-volume matters). I have an Epson Workforce 520 multifunction devices that allows me to scan, print, copy and fax. That device lasted me over 10 years (and it's still working)! 

While I don't have a separate fax line in my house (other than my Magic Jack which I use as a secondary (overflow) phone line), my primary phone line (that has my phone number dated from my childhood days when it was a 416 area code in Ajax until 905 was introduced in the early to mid-1990s) is with a provider called "freephoneline". 

Although it requires a few technical matters (i.e. Getting a separate device called a VoIP ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter) and a special file called a "VOIP unlock key" - in which you both have to pay for only one time), I was able to take advantage on managing my phone line (and filtering out unwanted spam calls - my particular ATA has a feature that allows me to block certain phone numbers from reaching my line). 

I know that having two or three home phone lines may be silly, but I wanted to manage one phone line for everyday use and another for other related matters. 

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Doing a bit of spring cleaning by cleaning up the boxes from online orders (putting a permanent label and then using a black sharpie to block out my address along with other info). This is along with preparing items to be shredded to ensure that no confidential info can be retrieved (micro cut shredder ensures the highest level of security).

Used to get my paper shredding done at Staples paying $10 to $20 depending on how much paper fits in the box. Where as I paid $60 for a used one which is pretty competitive considering the cost can be expensive along with the maintenance. Especially with how people do go through recycling and people not being careful with private info.

Put out my boxes out for recycling and it feels a lot better clearing out that clutter. Especially since it was a challenge fitting it into my recycling bins even when flattened. All picked up.

Waiting for an order of lubrication sheets to prepare for all the paper shredding. Comparing pricing between Staples and Amazon, Amazon had the better deal with 24 sheets for just over $20. Staples only sold 12 for the same price.

Always pays to shop around. Especially when it can be a challenge finding something at the right size or volume. 

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Remember my thought on my wish that "Hockey Night in Canada" should be broadcasted in Cantonese and Mandarin? That thought has finally coming true:

https://www.ctvnews.ca/sports/hockey-night-in-canada-to-be-streamed-in-multiple-languages-in-push-for-diversity-1.5372745?cid=sm%3Atrueanthem%3Actvnews%3Apost&utm_campaign=trueAnthem%3A New Content (Feed)&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR1PO9hulv0C9RUakHKoI6DBfLn9xIWwS1OwWvu9kolVpvvD9dRvBMOm9t8

Now all we need is having the Toronto Santa Claus Parade - to be broadcasted in Punjabi, Cantonese and Mandarin! I would imagine if the hosts could broadcast in those languages! Reminds me when Global TV (in Canada) used to air the coverage alongside with counterparts in French and Russian back in the early 1990s (scroll to 0:58 and you'll get the idea):

 

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Was just reading about how NFL players will be paid over the span of 36 weeks instead of 17 weeks.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/nfl-players-are-about-to-get-paid-over-36-weeks-instead-of-17-will-it-help-them-financially-11617973604?mod=newsviewer_click&link=sfmw_fb&fbclid=IwAR2V3Vo6hfuQ3Jz6_Zf_380x__y1jqIqz9Gx4BTNeMHZqSvqB5Ls1a99Aj4

The key figure is how 80 percent of retired players of the NFL go bankrupt or under financial stress in less than two years. 60 percent for the NBA players that go bankrupt or under financial stress within 5 years. Reading some of the stories of how some players who were paid a lot of money, but don't manage their lifestyle expenses or how to maximize what they currently have over a longer period of time. Not many people bring in a few million dollars for what they are providing for the sports franchise. 

I always was a big advocate to teach financial literacy and even do a stock market competition picking which stocks could beat the market. With the uncertainties of the future and how some people don't know what kind of financial risks such as interest rates on credit cards can be or what is required to maintain their current lifestyle. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

WTF is this this garbage?

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And most importantly: does it even have any foam applications?

Believe it or not, it does, and I actually sent those pictures to two of my American friends who are in the transit business and are in that group that volunteers at trolley museums that I help (Can we please open the damn border up?) out with.

So here's the back story:  That's a dynamic signal analyzer from the early/mid 1980s.  It's a beautiful tool and I should really use it more often but the box you can kind of see the edge of to the right, covers a good chunk of the same frequency range, is a bit newer and has much better automatic peak search functions which makes setting up measurement markers a lot easier and a lot faster so the DSA doesn't get much use even though it is a fine piece of machinery.  So I had it spun up on Wednesday night while I was working on something and I decided while I had it running, I'd do a quick demo and patched in a function generator and pumped in some sine (top picture, one spike) and some square wave (bottom picture, one tall spike followed by a parade of odd multiple of frequency spikes of declining magnitude) in to demonstrate the harmonic content of square waves as opposed to a fairly pure sine wave, even though that sine isn't the greatest.

Anyhow, one of the friends I sent those pictures to is a mechanical engineer and among the various uses these machines have, a big one is vibration and noise analysis and I said it'd be fun to get something like this with a couple of transducers on something ancient like a Geezer Witt with noisy straight cut gears and friction bearings and do a test run then do the same thing on a PCC car with tightly coupled hypoid gears and roller bearings and do the same thing again and see how the frequency spectrum and magnitudes differ because it's night and day different between how loud and bumpy the two would be.  That kicked off a long discussion about how this reminded the guy of one of his college courses where they modelled the suspension in a vintage car he owns and simulated it with and without any damping along with suspension tuning etc.

Bearings, gear trains, suspension tuning, noise and vibration analysis, does this sound like we're working on tuning a transit vehicle?  Or tweaking an existing one?  Yes.  The friend sent this along and since it's posted on the public internet I can provide a link:

TCRP Report 67:  Wheel and Rail Vibration Absorber Testing and Demonstration

One of the test cars that got modified was a New Jersey Transit PCC.  Notice how the graphs look a lot like that DSA graticule?  Yup.  There we are.  We got our foam application, no problem.

According to the report, NJT put new Bochum wheels on 9 for the purpose of running a controlled test even though they'd already put a set on 6 earlier.  I don't know offhand where 9 ended up but 6 is at Rockhill.  I kind of suspected, since the TTC outfitted a PCC with Bochum wheels in the late 1970s to evaluate them before the CLRVs came, that the purpose of this test wasn't to decide what kind of replacement wheels to buy for the PCCs since their retirement was imminent when this report was prepared, but to determine what to have the incoming LRV replacements equipped with.  The friend confirmed that theory.  I mentioned the Bochums on the CLRVs did not work out well at all and they got replaced and he said it's been mixed results with those but that NJT's been running the LRVs on the Newark City Subway with them fine for 20 years now.  Frig, how are those cars hitting 20 years in service this summer?  Anyways, yes, there are definite foam applications for that machine on the bench.  Given the age, I wonder if one of these DSAs were used during the development of the production ALRVs, since the timing would've been around right for when this was a current product from HP.

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I was at Loblaws earlier today and it is interesting if I wanted PC Express (personal shopper does the shopping and I pick it up at the store once completed), I could only buy a pack of Tide pods in the larger volume. Which was $22.99 with 48 pods. Versus $14.28 for 36 pods and buying two would give me $28.56 for 72 pods.

Online shopping is handy, but learning some of the retail tricks such as how if online shopping, they only show a certain product that is more profitable. The 48 pods are under "low inventory" meaning that a product could be substituted with a similar item should the customer approve. This is along with the sale price to lure the customer into making a quick decision. 

For me, I guess I should stick to in-store shopping because sometimes you might find a nicer deal heading inside. With all the retail tricks to increase customer spending or trigger impulse purchases. 

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"Game changer"

That's my nomination for words and phrases that should be banned.

I just read another newspaper article containing those two words.  I'm sick and tired of hearing it practically all 2020 and all of 2021 to date in the media, out of politicians and yet none of the "game changer" things materializes or results in any actual change unless you're idea of "change" is "more of the same".

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13 minutes ago, Wayside Observer said:

"Game changer"

That's my nomination for words and phrases that should be banned.

I just read another newspaper article containing those two words.  I'm sick and tired of hearing it practically all 2020 and all of 2021 to date in the media, out of politicians and yet none of the "game changer" things materializes or results in any actual change unless you're idea of "change" is "more of the same".

“Social distancing” is another I’d like to never hear again..

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45 minutes ago, pccstreetcar4549 said:

“Social distancing” is another I’d like to never hear again..

I could also do without being barked at every time I have to walk side by side with someone and there's no room to be 6 feet apart.

I wish the world was far, far less concerned about my physical well-being than it currently is.

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11 minutes ago, pccstreetcar4549 said:

“Social distancing” is another I’d like to never hear again..

Yes, that's a good one.

A couple more came to mind:

"We're all in this together" - no we aren't and that's been painfully clear the whole time.

"Stay home" - how many times does everyone in an essential services job see that on a sign going between home and work?

"Flatten the curve" - might as well say "postpone the inevitable" at this point.  It's gotten to the point I start cracking wiseass jokes about EQing sound systems when I hear that crap.

 

8 minutes ago, PCC Guy said:

I could also do without being barked at every time I have to walk side by side with someone and there's no room to be 6 feet apart.

I wish the world was far, far less concerned about my physical well-being than it currently is.

Tell me about it.  I got barked at from missing a one way aisle marker and going the wrong way in a store.  If a tree in the forest falls in the wrong direction in the forest and nobody's around to see it, how do the busybodies make sure it gets barked at?  Until this started, it was indifference at best.  Now all this concern?  I can reach under my shirt any time and feel the scars on my back any time.  Where was any amount of concern for my health when that happened?  This one has left me very bitter dealing with a number of family members.

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"New normal" - add that to the list.  It isn't new anymore and it is not normal, and should not be normalized and accepted as such.  It's a bad reminder that the lessons after 9/11 about rushing to make poorly considered changes for the worse without a plan to undo them when reacting to an emergency have not been learned.

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Someone should write a parody of Whitney Houston's "It's not Right, But it's Okay" from the point of view of her boyfriend who actually wasn't cheating.

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