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1 hour ago, captaintrolley said:

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).

Very nice that you can purchase your bus pass over the phone. Minimizing the need to visit in-person.

I still have to go in-person at the downtown bus terminal to purchase a monthly pass. On the bright side, I can use contactless payment (card or mobile device) to pay. The limit is $100 to use this option in my town. Though I am aware that the limit has been increased to $250 with the card issuers to minimize touching the PIN pad and point of sales terminal. 

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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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2 minutes ago, GTAmissions1 said:

I still have to go in-person at the downtown

Normally I would prefer to purchase my pass at the downtown office because a friend of mine that I used to work with at ETS is there, so we always have a quick chat, or I synchronize my arrival there with her lunch break and we do lunch at the Boston Pizza in that building. However, covid has put a damper on all those things. The Boston Pizza there relied heavily on office workers and people going to Rogers Arena for their business.  This BP location is currently closed. There are still many restaurants around the same two block radius that are still open, but I doubt business is very brisk.

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Discovered that the orange-y visitor to my Birdie Balcony Buffet is a Red Breasted Nuthatch. Such a pretty little thing, I hope he sticks around for a while. Really don't get much variety here, mostly sparrows and magpies, with the occasional Blue Jay. 

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After having to travel out of town or ordering online, my local Shoppers Drug Mart carries Tom Ford fragrances. Especially since the next closest town that carries this product line is around an hour away. Which I just head to Sephora that has testers and determine if it is something I like or not.

Especially with the special spend coupon (spend $400 on cosmetics, fragrances or skin care before taxes by November 25th, get 80,000 points) I have on my PC Optimum account, it is definitely something I look into buying in the future. I always buy during 20x the points or something similar (for every $30 spent, get 10,000 points as one example) to receive the best value back in points.

Next month is going to be the start of when gift sets are coming. Depending on the set, it provides better value than the standalone fragrance. 

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It got cold enough in the house last night that I decided to bump the heat on to take the chill off so I got out of bed and went to the thermostat and pushed the button to turn it on to heat.  Nothing.  The screen didn’t light up.  Turned on the lamp near it and the display was completely blank. Ok, the batteries must’ve died between when I shut off the air conditioning for the season a few weeks ago and now.  It wasn’t that cold that I couldn’t live with it and decided to go back to bed rather than fight with it in the middle of the night.

Fast forward to this evening and I’m thinking I should really get off my butt and do something about it in case the overnight low gets down there again and I put a new set of batteries in and nothing.  Totally dead.  DMM said they’re each sitting at about 1.6 volts vs. about 1.2 for the batteries that were in there.  So I decided to be absolutely sure and take it downstairs and force feed it about 3 volts from a bench power supply.

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Nope.  Dead.

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I took it apart to see what there was to see and this is what passes for a thermostat in the 21st century. A whole lot of surface mount stuff and three Omron 2.4 VDC coil relays to switch the 18 volts AC off the transformer in the furnace to bring in the fan, the heat, or the air con.  Long live the bimetallic strip and mercury slosh tube.  There are half a dozen test points in the upper left corner there so I decided to power it back up and put a meter on them to see if there was anything obvious and got 3.2 V on five of them and about a volt on the other which may or may not have been a clock pulse or something like that for the digital logic.  I didn’t bother to scope it because:

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I got a display with a plausible temperature on it too.  Isn’t that interesting?  I took a closer look and realized that the clip leads had finally wiggled around enough and bit through to new metal and that the matte looking texture of the battery terminals wasn’t how the metal was finished, it was a layer of oxide.

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You can see the difference between the oxide and where I burnished it and scraped off metal oxide to reveal new metal with a small file.

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Back together with the pair of AA batteries that were in it when it bailed out and that looks a lot better.  I guess that’s one way to do planned obsolescence.  Use a metal known to slowly oxidize in a location that’s exposed to air and let the customers come back to buy a new one when it stops working after the battery terminals oxidize in air enough that not even a fresh set of AAs produces enough voltage to punch through the oxide layer on the contacts.

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Done and done and it’s back on the wall and working.  You can see the outline of the original Honeywell hockey puck thermostat on the wall from when this one was put in when the house got central air.

This one won’t last as long as the original one from 1942 did, but this evening’s round of you can’t do that complicated electronics means that it’ll go for a little longer and it was a lot less expensive than going to the store to buy a new one and if it gets cold again tonight I’ll be able to get the heat on if I want it so I’m happy.

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My Blue Jay came to my Birdie Balcony Buffet for breakfast this morning !!! And this afternoon as I was tidying the balcony and topping up some of the tubs, my Red Breasted Nuthatch came right up to me. So pretty and tiny. Quick bugger though. Built for speed so he is.

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FY, got most of my Christmas shopping done, with the exception of a few gift cards I have yet to purchase.

Also, CoE / ETS FINALLY  got their online store website working so we can purchase low income bus passes online now, since the downtown office is still closed (due to covid).

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1) It’s Friday.

2) Got together with a friend yesterday after work and ran some drills and passes in a mini combine/practice.

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Three guesses which one’s me and the first two don’t count.

3) Steaks and roaster chickens were on sale at the store.  This means chicken for dinner tonight with roast potatoes etc. plus the carcass to make soup tomorrow, and steaks with friends tomorrow night.  This weekend, we eat.  The $100 Kijiji gourmet cooking workstation is going to get a workout.

4)  The shop co-ordinator at work is on vacation which means it’s rotating around the shop staff to organize the place.  Which means it’s payback time for the three lazy buffoons that management stuffed us with.  The regular co-ordinators won’t deal with the slackers because they kick up a fight and it’s hard.  Us?  The people who have to carry these jerks on our backs all the time?  Not so.  Every one of us enjoys being put in the big chair and cracking the whip on the class clowns.  Net result:   It’s been a very light week for me because these three bozos are being required to actually earn their paycheques.

5)  We’re going to do another mini practice.

6)  It’s a bit hard to see but there’s a family of blue jays that have been visiting my bird feeders the last few days.

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Both of them are on the feeder in that picture.

7)  Did I mention it’s Friday?

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6 hours ago, captaintrolley said:

^ Love the blue jays. I have one that shows up once in a while. They are stashing now, so a busy time for them.

I only ever see them in the fall here.  Last year we didn’t have a sharp cool off right away and I had the windows open one day while I was sleeping in from an afternoon shift, and a blue jay landed on the bedroom window sill.  It stayed for quite a while too.

Anyhow, football practice for real tonight went well and the issue of which indoor team is settled which is good.  And the rain has let up so one of my football friends and I are at my place getting ready to have some late dinner.

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While the chicken is cooking, I’ve got this new music streaming service that spins at 33 1/3 RPM playing to pass the time.  The playing time for both sides of an LP perfect to time off how long to let a chicken go before checking on it.

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42 minutes ago, Wayside Observer said:

While the chicken is cooking, I’ve got this new music streaming service that spins at 33 1/3 RPM playing to pass the time.  The playing time for both sides of an LP perfect to time off how long to let a chicken go before checking on it.

Excellent.  I had a record player something like that.  Got it for REAL CHEAP at Woodwards. It had no lid so the salesman practically paid me to take it.  He found a cracked lid in the back, didn't fit right, but good enough to keep the dust out. Had it about 35 years. Still worked all that time, but I left it behind when I left Edmonton to move to Vancouver. Moved to a 150 sq ft apartment, so could only take the bare necessities. The last few years I really didn't listen to music much. Funny as I've gotten older I tend to enjoy peace and quiet.

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Some Saturday afternoon cooking.  Boiling down the carcass from last night’s chicken to make soup:

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One of the neighbourhood cats could smell that taking place and cake by to check it out.

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Put a sear on some chicken breasts to put in the soup.

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Baked oatmeal raisin cookies.

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Fired up the $100 Kijiji gourmet cooking workstation a second time to cook the steaks that were on sale on Thursday for dinner with a couple of football friends and we had a nice evening.   I think all three of us are going to sleep well tonight after gorging on that feast.

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On 10/2/2020 at 4:04 PM, captaintrolley said:

^ Love the blue jays. I have one that shows up once in a while. They are stashing now, so a busy time for them.

The blue jays here have definitely been busy.  Two days ago, the jays were trying to feed but the back yard was full of grackles that kept bullying them off the feeders.  The blue jays returned in the afternoon after the grackles had left.

 

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I was sitting in the back yard yesterday afternoon when they came back for another feeding.  It took several attempts to get this picture with the one on top of the pole that holds the feeder and catch the other one peeking out from the other side of the feeder itself at the bottom.

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Was too cool outside for my water loving magpie to take a splash in the 'Birdie Bowl' today, but he sure took some healthy chunks out of the suet at supper time.  I've also seen my nuthatch take some bites from it. It feels good to be able to help provide for these critters in an urban environment.

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