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The Random Thoughts Thread


buswizard
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Another random thought of the hour: A month from today (August 19, 2022) - the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is coming back to Toronto (in the Canadian province of Ontario) after a two-year long absence due to the pandemic. I remembered buying a special "box set" called the "CNE in a box". 

From what I had bought during the time: It included a candy apple, a gummy-candy styled shish-kebab and some other novelty stuff. What's more, it included some CNE tickets (that were destined for the 2021 edition of the fair - which regrettably got cancelled last year). There's some good news for ticketholders who got CNE passes for 2020 and the 2021 editions (which were respectively cancelled): you can use those passes towards this year's (2022) edition of the CNE. Lucky for me, I was able to hold mine (the physical printed copies were stored in my filing cabinet along with an e-mail dated from August 2020 - which I kept at the time of writing).

Here's some further reading on how big-scale events (like the CNE in Toronto) are adapting to a post-pandemic environment: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/article-summer-festival-sales-to-hit-new-heights-in-2022/

 

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I remember visiting the EX a couple of times a while back. I really enjoyed the ancillary stuff like the Canadian destroyer, the museum with all the maritime steam whistles, some kind of science display, and a few other things. Also I liked the livestock displays. I did not enjoy the arcade/midway or rides.

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13 hours ago, J. S. Bach said:

I remember visiting the EX a couple of times a while back. I really enjoyed the ancillary stuff like the Canadian destroyer, the museum with all the maritime steam whistles, some kind of science display, and a few other things. Also I liked the livestock displays. I did not enjoy the arcade/midway or rides.

I'm not a big ride fan myself, but I really love to check out the great carnival/festival food! 

Reminds me on watching a TV show called "Carnival Eats". 

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  • 2 weeks later...

A random thought right now (and it's something that i've been following up): the CNE has released some of the "weird" food that is going to be served up for the fair's return this month. Spoiler Alert: it involves some condiement-flavo(u)red ice cream.

Further reading: https://toronto.citynews.ca/2022/08/03/toronto-cne-2022-food-items-ketchup-mustard-ice-cream/

The countdown of the CNE in Toronto, Canada - reminded me of a "Shining Time Station" episode that I watched called "All's Fair". That episode brings up the theme of county fairs (and other stuff in between).

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3 hours ago, FutureHeartsJunkie said:

A random thought right now (and it's something that i've been following up): the CNE has released some of the "weird" food that is going to be served up for the fair's return this month. Spoiler Alert: it involves some condiement-flavo(u)red ice cream.

Further reading: https://toronto.citynews.ca/2022/08/03/toronto-cne-2022-food-items-ketchup-mustard-ice-cream/

The countdown of the CNE in Toronto, Canada - reminded me of a "Shining Time Station" episode that I watched called "All's Fair". That episode brings up the theme of county fairs (and other stuff in between).

Saw this on my local 6:00pm news, and as soon as I saw the ice cream flavours, I was like "NOPE!". 🤮

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Simplii (pronounced "Simply"), one of the virtual banks owned by CIBC (in Canada) is finally rolling out MasterCard debit for it's bank cards (but for purchases outside of Canada and even online/telephone purchases). 

It's been a long time coming for them to roll out an option for those who don't have access to a "regular" credit card (but not a "prepaid" and "reloadeable" credit card). 

At the time of writing, they are gradually sending out the cards. At first, many people speculate that Simplii would introduce VISA Debit (in line with their regular credit card - or something like that) but instead, MasterCard Debit has been chosen. 

This also reminds me when Tangerine (owned by Scotiabank) rolled out VISA Debit two years ago and BMO (Bank of Montreal) introduced MasterCard Debit a few years prior. 

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Was reading on MobileSyrup that Telus sent an application to the CRTC regarding approval of charging a fee of 1.5 percent for payments done with a credit card. If approved, the fee would apply to transactions starting in October. Exact date is to be confirmed, but they will be providing plenty of notice so customers can adjust. 

In this day and age, you would think that they would rather encourage people to save their credit card info online and it would be charged the outstanding balance by the due date. No need to enter your info, no need to worry about missed payments. Since I don't think the stores even do bill payments in-person. I know Rogers phased that out and it used to be a self-serve kiosk where you would have to enter the info that would match the billing info the company had.

Rogers offers a $5 discount for an in-market plan if you sign up for pre-authorized payments with a credit card. Of course, who knows if they will also take the lead of Telus and start charging 1.5 percent for credit card payments. 

Telus is large enough to get one of the lowest fees. At the same time, never forget when Walmart wanted to stop accepting Visa because of high interchange fees and pushing their own credit card a few years ago. Before concessions were made and don't forget Walmart processes a lot of sales volume, so they get one of the lowest fees for any major company. 

Final comments:

Feels more like the businesses are drawing a line and shifting the additional costs of processing credit card transactions to customers instead of accounting for those additional costs in their budgets. Especially with how Visa and Mastercard no longer have their basic cards. Instead how they have added premium tiers over the years such as Visa Infinite and World Elite being a lot more expensive to process. 

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Just a few days ago, I finally heard the radio ad for the CNE in Toronto, Canada being played - for the first time since the pandemic. 

At the time of writing, they are promoting the CNE Gift Card-style tickets for the early bird prices. Those can be bought from various grocery stores within the CNE's coverage area and Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall stores (also within the CNE's coverage area). 

What saddens me is that GO Transit is (likely at the time of writing) no longer sell CNE tickets at the GO Stations (either for the early bird prices or when the CNE is being held - but charged at gate prices). 

If you have a PRESTO Card, you can take advantage of the exclusive discount for the CNE tickets. One condition however, you have to buy the tickets online. 

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On 8/3/2022 at 9:38 PM, FutureHeartsJunkie said:

 

On 8/4/2022 at 1:18 AM, Gregory said:

Saw this on my local 6:00pm news, and as soon as I saw the ice cream flavours, I was like "NOPE!". 🤮

Only if it is HONEY MUSTARD! The CATSUP flavor; well, hmmm, I will have to think on that one.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not so much a 'thought' but more of a 'message'.

If you get up A LOT during the night, and not for pee or fussy baby or pets, PLEASE get it checked out. And keep getting it checked until you have the right answers. 

I was admitted to the hospital for heart failure. Yes, I have amazing heart and lungs from swimming almost all of my entire life. Right ?!?!?!?

I had a sleep test done 11 years ago only they didn't tell me that's what they were doing and were sneakily fitting me with various masks and tubes in the middle of the night, finally just sent me home with an oxygen concentrator.  (This was just before I was about to move to Vancouver, so had my stuff in storage and was temporarily staying at moms). She had no fondness for this oxygen machine and phoned the company to take it back.

So, fast forward 11 years and we're in the same boat.  Both 'excursions' came at the heels of prolonged stress events (the first stress was work, the second was room mate stress), so apart from healthy lungs and heart from swimming, my heart could not handle the stress on top of the problem it was already battling.

Apparently less than 10% of the people with any type of sleep apnea have Central Sleep Apnea. Much harder to pinpoint and diagnose. Something about the brain deciding it is OK for the lungs to slip into low or neutral whilst asleep, then the body deciding one needs to be awake to breathe. So when I say my whole night is a circus, I am being truthful not funny.  This all started in my late 40's. 

Anyhow, with the lungs being lazy, the heart joined the club. Suddenly things decided not to move fluids around the body as efficiently as they could and I ended up with water around my heart (heart failure) and water around my lungs (not able to catch my breath).

So, don't want to scare you, but we are all aging. If you've been on CPTDB since its inception, you're already about 20 years older.

I just wanted to share what I had learned. Know the signs, treat the symptoms. I hope you all stay healthy and happy for a very long time. ♥

 

 

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Mobile pre-clearance for US customs has arrived for Pearson International Airport in Toronto and Trudeau Airport in Montreal effective August 30th.

Especially with how ArriveCAN is currently required for international and returning Canadians from abroad. Attaching proof of vaccination along with customs declaration attaching it to the passport number. When the passenger arrives and scans their passport, it is attached to the passport number on the forms. 

Going through the process myself. It was a lot more efficient filling out the forms online and getting the confirmation that the info has been received. Rather than having to carry a pen and fill out the paper forms making sure that I am answering the questions correctly and accurately. Anything to speed up the process and clear customs. 

https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/mobile-passport-control

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"Watch it, Buddy!" 

Those were the infamous (and notorious) catch phrase by the late Peter Silverman, known for his segment in CityTV Toronto called "Silverman Helps". 

I really wished that CityTV in Toronto should bring back the consumer reporting segment on CityNews Toronto - but this time tailored for the new generation (and to carry on the "legacy"!). 

Right now, we're stuck with Sean O'Sea of Global News (for "Consumer S.O.S." ) and Par Foran of CTV Toronto (for "Consumer Alert". 

While the former has withstand the abuse by the "haters" (freedom convoy, anyone?), the latter had rarely seen confrontations. 

Speaking of CityNews, does anyone remembered the CityNews Channel back in 2011 to 2013? I found out that the channel has finally comeback - but under a new name: "CityNews 24/7" (or something like that). 

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Guess my colleagues didn't lie to me when they say you are usually in a deep sleep between 2 and 5am. I changed schedules due to school, getting at 5:30AM now instead of 2AM for work where I've been doing that for over a year after switching departments. I slept through those three hours where I'm normally up and am already at the office in a deep sleep only for my alarm to wake me up rather than me waking up before my alarm. That felt extremely weird as even on my days off, I often woke up around that time only to go back to sleep. I guess that's one cure for my insomnia. Well, I gave my resignation at work but they offered me part time so I requested my usual 4AM Starts till either 1430 or 1530 on weekends if I can get them. At least I can sleep in and get more rest on the weekdays which is good enough for me. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Who leaves a tip nowadays? Every time you go out to eat at a restaurant, take a taxi/rideshare ride or have food delivered to your place - you are obligated to leave a tip for the level service you receive.

If you receive good service, you tip more. If the service is subpar, then you don't tip. 

Nowadays, leaving a tip is (nowadays) impolite (regardless on how good the service is). 

 

Further reading: https://www.thestar.com/business/personal_finance/advice/2022/09/15/now-15-per-cent-is-rude-tipping-fatigue-hits-customers-as-requests-rise.html

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7 hours ago, FutureHeartsJunkie said:

Who leaves a tip nowadays? Every time you go out to eat at a restaurant, take a taxi/rideshare ride or have food delivered to your place - you are obligated to leave a tip for the level service you receive.

If you receive good service, you tip more. If the service is subpar, then you don't tip. 

Nowadays, leaving a tip is (nowadays) impolite (regardless on how good the service is). 

 

Further reading: https://www.thestar.com/business/personal_finance/advice/2022/09/15/now-15-per-cent-is-rude-tipping-fatigue-hits-customers-as-requests-rise.html

Yeah, hate when this happens:

X Christmas Gifts on Twitter: "Food On Ubereats Delivery Fee Tip $98.49  Michael Jordan Meme https://t.co/l0RTyEhcZy #christmasgifthour  https://t.co/lW7ToXmQWO" / Twitter

The tip, taxes, and everything else should just be included in the retail price, so if the total comes down to $98.49 then it should just say so upfront. It may be more of a psychological issue than anything, but it definitely makes more sense than putting $99.99 instead of $100.00 (also a psychological trick that apparently works).

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2 hours ago, 81-717 said:

Yeah, hate when this happens:

X Christmas Gifts on Twitter: "Food On Ubereats Delivery Fee Tip $98.49  Michael Jordan Meme https://t.co/l0RTyEhcZy #christmasgifthour  https://t.co/lW7ToXmQWO" / Twitter

The tip, taxes, and everything else should just be included in the total price, so if the total comes down to $98.49 then it should just say so upfront. It may be more of a psychological issue than anything, but it definitely makes more sense than putting $99.99 instead of $100.00 (also a psychological trick that apparently works).

Sometimes, I tend to round up my final costs to either the nearest nickel, dime, quarter or dollar. That way, it is more even. 

Anyhoo, last weekend - I had attended an e-sports match in Toronto, Canada. The Toronto Defiant (one of the Overwatch League teams in the Western Region) has hold their Summer Showdown event last week in which teams (in the Western Region) that qualify to compete to win the summer showdown. While the Toronto Defiant had lost the 2nd-final match to the San Francisco Shock (and sadly, the San Francisco Shock had lost to the Dallas Fuel - which then become champions) , it really gives a sense that the team wanted to support their fans and so forth. 

As for where the event was held, it was held at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (the same place where the Maple Leaf Gardens used to be). 

Still with e-sports, I really wish that there should be more e-sports events and conventions. Before the pandemic, they were common. 

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On 9/15/2022 at 4:38 PM, 81-717 said:

he tip, taxes, and everything else should just be included in the retail price, so if the total comes down to $98.49 then it should just say so upfront.

The reason I've heard for why taxes are not included in the retail price is because tax rates are different in different places and apparently, producing an inventory of multiple price signs would be an insurmountable obstacle for a large corporation to overcome.

Funny how this isn't a concern in the EU...

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  • 4 weeks later...

Food for Thought (pun intended):

Sobeys (along with their banners like Farm Boy, Freshco, IGA (in Quebec) and the Voila delivery service) is slowly introducing it's Scene+ (Scene Plus) rewards program across Canada replacing Air Miles.

While the Air Miles rewards program has entered turbulence (pun intended once again) in recent times (the LCBO (aka the Liquor Control Board of Ontario) stores in Ontario (for instance) no longer offers Air Miles and now offers Aeroplan), it seems that the biggest loss is some older generation people who are used to collect Air Miles (some even don't have a credit card nor access to a smartphone or computer - just to check their rewards points/Miles).

What does everyone have to say about it?

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If you folks ever tuned into some various news programs on Global TV (in Canada) recently - they recently updated their branding complete with new music.

I really like the new branding for the TV network when it comes to newscasts. The old branding was navy blue and the typeface is serif.

The new ones however is more uplifting with the use of Sans Serif and the graphics - they remind me of The Globe and Mail newspaper.

Here's a comparison between the old graphics and new ones on what I'm talking about:

https://youtu.be/zZgV95H-W1Q

Compare with the newly updated graphics (and music):

https://youtu.be/XCJd6KYUb5Y

Which ones do you like best? The old graphics or the new graphics?

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Food For Thought (for hopefully as part of Toronto's New Year's Resolution -yes, I know it's early):

I really wish that Toronto should bring back the "Taste of the Danforth" Greek Festival (I didn't attend the festival in the past). The organizers were forced to cancel the event due to the PatioTO program in terms of logistics and infrastructure issues.

There was a letter to the editor stating that the festival would have go on - if (the late) Mel Lastman was the current mayor (sic)of Toronto, Canada.

 

Still with festivals, the comeback of the CNE in Toronto this past summer got an opportunity for the city to recover from the pandemic.

In a related nature, The Santa Claus Parade in Toronto is coing back as an in-person event. If I had the dream, I would imagine if that coverage were to be broadcasted in different languages - just like HNIC (Hockey Night In Canada) was broadcasted in Punjabi!

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