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On 8/6/2020 at 11:41 PM, Wayside Observer said:

 ...snip... Also known as a Megger.  Megger’s one of those brand names like Xerox or Kleenex that’s entered common language as a catch-all for everyone else’s competing products. ...snip...

Somewhere along the line I picked up a genuine Megger, the hand-cranked one in its original black leatherette-covered wood(?) case. We used them in the ground support shop in the Navy; when I saw the one for sale at a flea market (10.00 or so US), I just could not pass it up. As far as I know it still works.

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You need to stay away from those things now more than ever. I quit 3 years ago this June, and I’m so happy I did. You got this.👍

It's been exactly three months since I've had my last cigarette. That ties my record only to be beaten in the coming hours. I wonder how long I can keep this up, especially during this stressful time

The lawns are mowed and some weed pulling is done.  Three yard waste bags with got dropped off. Discounted rib steaks were purchased. The fire pit is lit up. The sun’s

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13 hours ago, J. S. Bach said:

Somewhere along the line I picked up a genuine Megger, the hand-cranked one in its original black leatherette-covered wood(?) case. We used them in the ground support shop in the Navy; when I saw the one for sale at a flea market (10.00 or so US), I just could not pass it up. As far as I know it still works.

Cool!  It most likely does still work.  There isn't much to go wrong with them.  The guy in one of the satellite plants has a little museum of old technology set up in the maintenance shop and he has something similar.  If I can find a picture of his display, I'll post it.  Anyways, I don't remember if it was an actual Megger megger or something similar made by a different company but it also had instructions in the lid for how to use it to do Kelvin-Varley line tests to determine cable length or distance to cable breaks.  This machine would've already been old by the time that building was built back in the mid 1950s.

Antiques like these are neat, especially if they're still in working order because they give a window into how things used to be done and you can pick up a lot of insights from how problems used to be approached and turn that towards present day work.  Compare to how everything's turned into feed it into an analogue to digital converter, digitize it, then pump the ones and zeros into the computer strapped on the back and see what the software does with it and hope for the best.  It's almost the worst of both worlds since it leads to operators and technicians becoming de-skilled but yet utterly dependent on devices that unfailingly adhere to the garbage in/garbage out principle, totally unable to deal with that pitfall.

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  • I went to my favorite surplus store for the first time in about 6 months today as it had finally reopened. First it had closed temporarily due to COVID-19 restrictions, then it finally opened a couple weeks and unfortunately was looted and vandalized during the riots at the end of May. Thankfully it wasn't torched like some of the other retail outlets in the area, so the owners were able to clean it up and refresh the layout a bit as well. Still the same crazy variety of stuff 😎
  • I also took my first non-essential trips on transit today just for fun riding around. I did take a couple of trips previously, but those were just due to not being able to drive.
  • Finally while waiting for the bus home after getting some shopping done, I'm at the mall transit center with a bunch of other folks waiting at the bay. Two buses on layover for the route, and it looked like the Gillig was next up to depart. Also waiting is some young pipsqueak trying to act all cool with a portable bluetooth speaker blasting some rubbish rap 'music'. Well I'm not looking forward to having to ride a crowded Gillig with a potential DJ sporting poor music taste for the trip. Just about the time the next bus is due to depart suddenly a third bus, a D60LFR, comes rolling up in the drive lane and honks at us to come over and get on, so we all hustle on and go. Bluetooth boy, still engrossed in his phone, meanwhile missed it and had to wait for another trip 😀
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Just took advantage of bonus redemption at Shoppers Drug Mart. Bought myself AirPods, a game and a bottle of water to reach the $300 threshold for redeeming points. The tier is redeem 200,000 points, get $300 off (extra $100). Only had to pay the taxes (just over $40).

So far, it is working well with the AirPods. Especially since I was disputing if I wanted to get AirPods Pro for buying an iPad via the Apple Store and pay the extra $110 to upgrade. Trading in my iPad Air 2 to compensate to reduce the cost to the original price. Though my iPad Air 2 is still working well and will be supported by iPadOS in the Fall. 

Technology is always changing and evolving. Just have to remember charging them up to ensure they work. 

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Online Swim lane bookings go live at 0830hra now instead of midnight.  I guess enough people complained. So we will see how that works. Still gonna be a rush at 0830 to get lanes, as there are still so few lanes available.

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I always refresh my PC Optimum offers at 10:30 PM Eastern Standard Time. One special one is 40 percent back in points when I redeem a minimum of 50,000 points ONLY on cosmetics and fragrances being the stipulation along with being in-store and not online. Have until August 26th to receive the bonus. One fragrance I have been looking at was the Tom Ford Beau De Jour which doesn't get discounted or have sales. Only a price increase from time to time. 

Last year, I got the 40 percent back in points bonus for anything in-store. It was very handy if I needed essentials or wanted a video game console.

To be honest, I think Shoppers Drug Mart is trying to figure out new ways to bring people back to the beauty counter. Since due to COVID-19 and no special events happening, why splurge on something that isn't going to see any usage right now. When people are most likely focusing on other priorities.

Friday to Sunday is a load to card 20x the points. People with paid subscriptions get an extra 5,000 points ($5 value) with their offer. Give a reason on why people should continue paying the annual fee along with other special offers. 

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I've been enjoying a relaxed day off.  I've had the windows open for the last couple of days which has been a nice break from running the A/C flat out.  I've already had breakfast and I'm slowly working my way through another cup of coffee and then I'm going to head downstairs and catch up on a couple of personal projects on the workbench.  Sometimes the simple things are the best.

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Team Aquatics (TAS) had a half price sale on some of their merchandise. So I purchased two (2) small mesh toiletry bags (for those annoying little soap, shampoo & conditioner bottles) to store them tidily and in one place.  I will give one to Lou, my swim pal as she is kind enough to give me a lift to the pool whenever she can. We work well as a team.  Since she is not at all good on the computer, I book her swim lane times for her. 

 

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Took Go Transit to Toronto and back. Taking the 65 Union Express from Aurora which the operator asked if anyone needed King, Maple or Rutherford and no one needed those stations. Pretty much straight to Union Station Bus Terminal which leaving at 3 PM and arriving at 3:45 PM despite the traffic at Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway. Via Route 404. 

Not bad for $10 (Sunday Funday pass). Especially when it covers the trip down and the return trip. Fares are based on distance (fare zones). 

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In times like these, you have to take whatever victories you can get, because sometimes it feels like they're all that's keeping you sane. As it happens, I've had a few such moments in the last while:

-The history of buses in Bratislava book that I won back when COVID was starting that was in limbo for a while finally arrived to my grandparents' place a few weeks back
-I've picked up copies of both of Louis Pursley's books on electric traction in Toronto despite them being extremely rare... early Christmas gift
-Co-worker of mine who I get along with extremely well has had her contract extended, meaning that the farewell can has been kicked further down the road than initially expected. She's the first actual friend I've managed to make since I left school a few years ago, so this is pretty cool news
-next week, I'm going to be meeting someone in Toronto to pick up a copy of a CLRV manual
-also next week I'm going to be meeting up with all my college friends for the first time since before the shut down started
-I have next week off work

Sometimes, things are okay. :)

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At some point in every man’s life, there comes a time when he realizes he needs a bigger barbecue.

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Tonight I’m going to fire up the big boy.  Well, at least part of it.  The 37” Ranch is Weber’s largest charcoal barbecue and I haven’t used mine yet this season.  Even though I don’t strictly need all that space right now I don’t really want to be crowded out on my regular grill and I’m going to take the opportunity do a test run at doing a sausage barbecue on it, and just enjoy firing it up since I rarely do.

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Team Aquatics still have their sale on, so I bought a few more of these mesh shower bags. With Christmas not too far away, they will make nice gift bags. Gonna buy some soaps and shampoos from the Body Shop whenever they have a sale and place the contents in these 'gift' bags. Body Shop should be having their Back To School sale now, but perhaps after the covid closure they can't afford to have a sale just yet...

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Bought a membership at the Wild Birds Unlimited. Got a free 'seed character'.  Came with a mesh bag for hanging, but afraid my squirrel will tear that to shreds in no time flat.  A friend of mine has offered to hang it in one of her trees. It's a cute little seed character, but I have no way of fastening it to my balcony (except for the mesh bag, but that will not work for me). .

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The last few days it’s cooled off again and it’s felt more like fall, especially in the evenings, which is great because it’s my favourite season and we’ve needed a break from the stifling heat.  The evenings in particular have been beautiful and we’ve been treated to a couple of spectacular sunsets like this one.

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The sun had already sunk below the horizon when those clouds rolled by and were being lit up from below by it.  I just stood there on the little porch outside the back vestibule leaning against the railing and enjoying the view and the breeze.

Somehow I actually have the labour day long weekend off for once and the store had prime rib roasts on sale so that was a no brainer.  Sold.

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Its seasoned up and on the smoker now for a hot and fast by smoker standards with just a hint of cherry.

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After almost six months of dealing with hourly service, my route is going back to regular 30 minute service at the end of the month.

Long overdue noting that there is a process that has to be followed before restoring regular scheduled service. Hourly is challenging to navigate around especially if I miss the departure by one minute. At least some things are slowly going back to normal. 

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On 9/6/2020 at 2:08 PM, captaintrolley said:

Shopping Center across the road from my building looks almost complete. Not sure what stores are gong to be in there. Apparently they are striving for all locally owned / independent businesses.

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The pseudo quaint-town-main-streety facade is a tad strong IMO, though certainly better looking than a bland beige wall of uniformity. I hope some successful local businesses can get established. Ideally a mix of stuff to appeal to a range of incomes and needs. Places that seem to cater exclusively to high-end tastes tend to struggle if they aren't in a very well to do high income area from what I've seen around here.

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8 hours ago, MVTArider said:

Places that seem to cater exclusively to high-end tastes tend to struggle if they aren't in a very well to do high income area from what I've seen around here.

Not sure that it is going to be a lot of 'high end' taste. I am thinking more along the lines of coffee shops, bistros, a pub, a cycle shop, maybe a kitchen wares store and a store with home accessories. Maybe a clothing store, outerwear / runners. The facade itself is meant to replicate a street in Amsterdam, and yes, it really looks like this.

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A very positive moment. Was at No Frills earlier today and stacked two personal offers with the text message offer (spend $20, get 5,000 PC Optimum points). Being the third week in a row they offered the coupon, but this time the staff were prepared on how to process the coupon. It isn't like Shoppers Drug Mart where you scan your card, your items and then the text message offer without any special instructions.

No Frills and Real Canadian Superstore, it is a bit more complex because they can process coupons. Just have to make sure that it is processed under the correct category or page an attendant for assistance. At least I got $13.30 in points back spending only $21.84 after taxes. 

I would go to Real Canadian Superstore since they have more selection than No Frills, but I would have to travel out of town. No Frills, at least they have reasonable prices noting their cost structure. 

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Bought my first bus pass over the phone using a system much like telephone banking.  The online 'Transit Store' for low income passes isn't working yet, it was supposed to launch yesterday.  The downtown bus pass office is still closed (due to covid).

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