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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Priority. Best be recognizing.

Hey, guess what?

I'm one of those assholes, too, that schleps their way up to the opposite platform when it's well past rush hour, where I'll board using the doors designated for people exiting the train, but tonight, I made nice (because I was told that when people do this, it irritates people waiting on the correct platform) and went up to Track 5 and boarded using the doors designated.

But here's the thing, I don't owe you donkeys boarding on the departure side, priority seating, nor should I have to stand and wait to make my way to the aisle while you and your GF heave several large suitcases onto the train. So when I sighed and made hand motions for you jackasses to wait til everyone had boarded, it's not my fault you had to panic and hustle your load because the CSA was trying to close the doors on Track 6.

It's not my fault you decided, after taking the elevator (luggage doesn't make you disabled by the way), that the accessibility car just wouldn't do so you shunted your crap all the way down to the first car. Why? So you can be first off the train? No matter what the plan is, you're still hauling ass no matter where you go.

Anytime you break the rules there are consequences. So those playing by the rules don't owe you a lick of favour. I also don't need to watch you strut your peacock feathers from your seat where you're posturing like a douche after you tried to tell me off for sighing at you, only for me to put you in your place.

Dude, please, don't blow smoke out of your ass at me. When you're in the wrong, you're not in the position to whine.

Like I said, I'm guilty of boarding on the departure side but I don't act like I'm entitled to it.

I've also learned this is a practice that bothers a rather large audience of people and I can see why.

- Signed your former platform departure boarding donkey

Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Aw man, seriously?

I can't believe I am taking the 11:13pm train (aggressive deadlines at year end really suck) and it doesn't help that some Korn concert with other similar bands, aka music I don't like, has let out at the ACC and the emo/goth/sad fml children are heading home to their somewhat comfortable suburban homes in Whitby. Good times. Here they come screaming up the stairs, high as mofos at a GD concert circa the 70s.

Yeah, I'll shake my cane.

Now get off lawn.
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Hey, you forgot something

The woman above finished her sushi and put the container under her seat.

She gets up to leave at Ajax (that's the blur of her coat).

I guess it's just too hard, isn't it? I threw it out for her.

Submitted by Elizabeth K.

Earth angel, earth angel, won't you be mine ...

Submitted by Stevie B.

Personal Hygiene

A few weeks back, I made reference to myself looking for my hairbrush one rainy morning to comb out my hair that had been whipped around and soaked by blowing sleet.

This was met with disgust with one person suggesting that combing one's hair on the train was "gross". Knowing that now, I've had to break all my fingers to prevent myself from doing this again. I've become quite adept at typing on my Blackberry with a toothpick while holding it between my elbows... Look, I've got nothing, I'm so cranky from working too many late nights that I can't attempt humour and fully admit I'm bombing.

Personally, I'm so oblivious to people brushing their hair (probably because I'm a woman and grew up with a gazillion sisters) that I don't object to, nor even zero in on, the act.

However, applying makeup and other acts of hygiene (such as tweezing eyebrows) aren't acceptable to most people. Filing nails? One reader wrote the urge to toss a lady who was mad filing off the train was so strong, he had to switch coaches.

I say do it.

Oh c'mon. We already know I'm headed to hell and most of you are coming with me.

One of my train buddies was subjected to a woman yesterday morning who hauled out a suitcase of makeup and toiletries and "put on her face" during the entire train ride.

Funnily enough, I've got a post about a similar situation from last April, read on ...

Tomorrow I'm shaving my legs on the 7:53.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dalton buys us some rails

Metrolinx acquires key commuter-rail segment of CN's Kingston Subdivision east of Toronto Union Station

TORONTO, March 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Metrolinx has purchased a section of CN's Kingston Subdivision rail line, used primarily for commuter and passenger rail operations in eastern Toronto, for C$299 million.

The rail line acquired by Metrolinx from CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE:CNI) is composed of the two- and three-track rail corridor east of Union Station in downtown Toronto to a junction near Whites Road in Pickering, Ont., where the line connects with GO Transit's separate rail right-of-way.

Metrolinx President and Chief Executive Officer Bruce McCuaig said, "With today's announcement, Metrolinx gains full ownership of an important segment of GO Transit's Lakeshore East commuter rail corridor from Union Station to Oshawa, Ont., and a direct connection to GO's Stouffville corridor in eastern Toronto.

"Owning this rail corridor section better positions GO to improve service, better control operations and plan future service growth."

Metrolinx now owns 61 per cent of the rail corridors on which GO Transit operates.

CN President and Chief Executive Officer Claude Mongeau said, "We are pleased to have concluded this sales agreement to transfer a critical link in the commuter rail network to Metrolinx, while protecting CN's operating rights over this line to ensure continued service to its freight customers. CN has a strong partnership with Metrolinx and we will continue to support commuter rail as a sustainable mode of transport in the Greater Toronto Area."

Please visit www.cn.ca/kingston for a map of the Kingston Subdivision and CN and GO Transit rail corridors in the Greater Toronto Area.

Metrolinx is the Province of Ontario's regional transportation agency for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). For more information, go to www.metrolinx.com. GO Transit, a division of Metrolinx, is Ontario's inter-regional public transit system linking Toronto with the surrounding regions of the GTHA. GO carries more than 57 million passengers a year in an extensive network of train and bus services that spans over 10,000 square kilometres. For more information, go to www.gotransit.com.

CN - Canadian National Railway Company and its operating railway subsidiaries - spans Canada and mid-America, from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to the Gulf of Mexico, serving the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the key metropolitan areas of Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., Green Bay, Wis., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, St. Louis, and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information on CN, visit the company's website at www.cn.ca.

Not spam. Your opinion really does matter to me

I'd like to apologize to the dozen or so readers over the past week who wrote comments that were flagged as spam by this site's blogging software aka Blogger.

I have recovered the comments and they've been pushed through to the site. If you find that after you submit a comment, it doesn't appear after refreshing, drop me an email (cj@thiscrazytrain.com) so I can check the spam settings.

Mercy buckets!

Time to freshen up the logo, kids

Some of the recent suggestions for a new crazy train banner:

1) Pac Man (the icon on the left) can't park.

One email reads, "draw yellow lines and a stick shit for the green talking one". Oh how I laffed. I love typos.

2) Set it on fire.

Apparently, a lot of you are pyros. Some of you are sick in the head, too. Why on Earth would I set fire to a dog? Even if it is Photoshop. Yes, it was suggested for this post.

3) Animate the Pac Man so that it's snoring. With sound.

When the hell did I give the impression I work for Disney?

4) Set K.P. on fire.

Again, some of you need help. Of course, #4 may be lost on some. Better keep reading so you can catch up.

5) Make the Pack Man logo be a door donkey.

This is probably where I'm headed. But as always, more suggestions are welcome. I don't plan on shuttering the site anytime soon, so a list of ideas helps me to help you.

Why, when parking is at such a premium, can't some people just TRY HARDER?

James, hand me my lighter.

Littlest Hobo rides the train

God I loved that show.

"Maybe tomorrow, I'll want to settle down,
Until tomorrow, I'll just keep moving on.

So if you want to join me for a while,
Just grab your hat, come travel light, that's hobo style.

Maybe tomorrow, I'll find what I call home, Until tomorrow, you know I'm free."


Sigh.

Take it away 905717XXXX:

A young girl was riding the 753 Barrie to Union (Tuesday morning) with a German Sheppard in a LARGE cage as well as a bunch of luggage. The cage is taking up one whole seat section on the accessibility coach (the end seat with just the one row of seats) while she is and her luggage take up another. She is laying down across the seat so no one can sit beside her. I wonder if she paid for the 4 seats of space she has taken over.

(pause)

I might ask her if her name is Leana.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

For the love of all things Holy, anything but sushi

I like to project so everyone realizes how important I am

Lovingly penned by H.M. in email
To: cj@thiscrazytrain.com

Hi CJ

I just found your blog recently and it made my hubby and I really happy (That's what this is about, folks, bringing joy ... ).

This morning on the 7:20 train we were treated to the brilliant musings of this girl. We got to hear about who she's dating, who wants to date her, who wants to be Facebook friends with her and how 30 year olds look scary old. At deafening volume (we are 2 quads away).

Her companion mostly just agreed; probably because he couldn't get a word in.
H.M. sent in a sound-byte of this motormouth but I need to check with my studying-to-be-a-lawyer-guy-whose-the-brother-of-the guy-who-changes-my-windshield-wipers if there's any "I'm going to consider legal action" consequences of publishing a person's voice.
Wannabe lawyer gives it the green light. If you download the file and drop it into iTunes, it'll play for you. Sounds like two hippos in a cage match with like, ohmigawd, commentary.

So, what are you doing tomorrow, say around 12:43 pm? Eating lunch? Maybe riding 100+ km of oratorical delight?

Soundwaves: Making Waves-Public Speaking in Public

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 29, 2011) - Soundwaves -

Who: Seneca College post-graduate communications students.

What: "Soundwaves" is an innovative approach to promoting public speaking to the public. Soon-to-be graduates will be tackling timely, heavy-duty issues, covering a wide range of topics relevant to today's young professionals and recent graduates. Sex, religion, finding your way – they'll be airing their dirty laundry and innermost thoughts. Nothing is too sensitive or sacred a topic.

Where: The GO Train, first car at the east end of the train. Riding the rails for 100+ km of oratorical delight. The 8:11 a.m. train from Union Station to Oshawa and back. The 12:43 p.m. train from Union Station to Burlington and back.

When: Wednesday March 30, at 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Feel free to join us at the beginning of our journey on the GO Train platform or meet us along the way. Seneca College's Corporate Communications graduate program prepares students to be flexible communications practitioners. The public speaking course challenges students to push the boundaries of conventional learning by taking them out of the classroom and simulating real world experiences.

For more information, visit Marketwire.com

They park like donkeys even when you drive in!

Andrew didn't take the train in today, he drove, only to encounter the asshat above.

There's no escaping these clowns.

Off Topic: Pug sings Batman theme song chorus

How to submit photographic evidence using your Blackberry with no shutter sound

Yes!

I love people who are determined to find a way.

When chatting with a reader via text this morning, said reader discovered that if you want to take a photo with your BlackBerry without the shutter sound, it can be done if you follow these steps:

1. Call voicemail
2. When the voicemail greeting kicks in, press the Blackberry button and choose Home Screen
3. Take a picture while the phone is on Home Screen; the shutter sound will be disabled.
4. Press power twice to end the call and exit the camera app.

Brilliant! So send them in!
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Holy Aneurysm

I think the CSAs need to be equipped with bullhorns so if they need to yell at people attempting to hold the train for other people still running to catch it (like the 8:15?) in Pickering this morning, they don't subject all of us on the train to their yelling into the P.A. System.

Our CSA didn't introduce himself this morning but we originated in Oshawa as the 7:53. He lost his mind when some asshats at Pickering wouldn't board.

Dude, just shut the doors. You don't owe anyone favours. The departure time is the same every morning. It's not a surprise to those boarding that the train showed up.
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Monday, March 28, 2011

Coz I've got skillz that payz me billz (no, wait ... I don't make any money doing this)

So a few of you doubted I managed the site while on the train with just a Blackberry and a safety pin.

The last two posts below this one were both published using only my BlackBerry and the select and paste text feature.

I try to do what I can on the train and pretty it all up later with graphics when there's time.

When I send posts from my BlackBerry to the site, they're appended by Rogers with that ridiculous footer message of how I sent the email. That's how you can tell. Later, when in front of a computer, I delete the footer.

Ta-dah!

Thanks for asking.
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

When you say 'bag', what exactly are you referring to (oh you'll get the visual soon)...

Nauseatingly penned by LC in email
To cj@thiscrazytrain.com

Hi CJ!
 
My train ride was one for the books this morning, so I had to share. 
 
The 706 express out of Pickering is always busy, and today was no exception.  As the Pickering riders and myself squeezed into the limited standing room only, I took position near the courtesy seating, only to notice a couple sleeping away.  Sadly, they only slept for about 5 minutes before she started nuzzling him, giving "bunny kisses", nibbling on his ear, rubbing his (I'm assuming) stomach behind his bag, and eventually leading to some kissing with tongue.  This proceeded off and on the entire trip to Union.  If I wasn't already feeling nauseous from being 6 months pregnant and standing on the train, I definitely felt ill from watching them.  A peck or two on the train is more than acceptable, but PLEASE.. save it for the corridor club or your bedroom.  

And at the very least, save the courtesy seating for someone who needs it!
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Girth (probably my 5th post on this topic)

The lady who chose to sit beside me tonight, bless her overtaxed heart, is so crammed in her seat that her arms are heaving in rhythm with her chest. Her right arm is taking my left arm with her. So we go up and down ... up and down (before you comment, I'm no toothpick) ... up and down.

I feel like I'm in a very small kayak.
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Do not want

Submitted by text message
To 9054427423

A big fat thank you to the lady with the seeing-eye dog this morning for feeding her dog cabbage and lord knows what else this morning for breakfast! He stank. The train stank. He farted like a sailor (no offense to sailors) and he was a beautiful dog but good lord, I have no nose hair left. Shout out to the peeps on the Stoufville train. Someone needs to tell her to switch the food!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

What's green, looks like Pac Man and answers to Leana?

Below is a text exchange I had this evening with a person claiming to be the sister of my logo's left Pac Mac image. I'll call her PMS (as in Pac Man's sister) for short.

My replies are in green.

PMS: u made my sister cry

sorry, who are you talking about?

PMS: you know who i mean. this is cj right?

damn, my crystal ball's in the shop so you're gonna have to help me out here. describe her

PMS: don't f*ck around. i mean leana

omg. really? look i don't have time for prank texts

PMS: i'm pretty serious

and i'm pretty sure this is just someone being randomly juvenile

PMS: ha, look whose talking

PMS: u like to talk a lit of shit

hey, that rhymed

you're like a rapper or something

let me guess, next you'll tell me to step off or let it slide, right?

PMS: just leave my sister alone and stop people talking shit about her

don't you mean talking smack?

PMS: don't make me mad. i'll find out what train you ride and come talk to you personally

oh, like a real man should do?

PMS: haha, you're so stupid. i'm a woman

er, right... the site's anonymous anyway, no one knows who she is.

PMS: she linked in on her facebook

ok. and that's my problem, because ... ?

PMS: it just is

How old is your sister?

PMS: 21

and she used her real name (first name) on the internet and then linked a site where she wrote a comment on her facebook account where people she knows would know she wrote it

PMS: so?

oh snap, is this about the logo? (Background here for those who are new)

PMS: her friends are now linking it and relinking it. people she doesn't even know are giving her a hard time

i still don't understand how this is my problem

PMS: you need to take your site down

excuse me?

PMS: you need to shut it down or else i will consider legal action

sigh ... if i had a dollar for everytime i've heard that

does your sister look like a green pac man?

PMS: no. just shut it down.

listen, i don't have her last name. i don't have her photo. what exactly would you sue me for? for her error in judgment to link the site on facebook, actually identifying herself as the author of a comment and then when i use her name in a logo graphic, a first name i might add, on a picture that doesn't even resemble a human, this is now my problem?

PMS: yep

no, it's leana's problem, sorry

i didn't post the site to her facebook profile nor link it. the only person who leana should be upset with... is leana

PMS: whatever. i'll be speaking to a lawyer tomorrow.

awesome. make sure to have the lawyer call me. you have the number (obviously). i'll be availble during the lunch hour. 12 - 1. i'll be expecting that call. i won't appreciate having my time wasted while i make myself available for a conversation if it doesn't happen

by the way, i just checked youropenbook.org and i can't find any evidence of facebook linking for the post in question in a single status update.

hello?

i honestly don't know why people like you bother ... get bent.

How come you don't post on weekends?

Text message from 905260XXXX

My replies are in green

260: Hey, how come you don't have anything on your site today...noting yesterday eitehr

Hello! Thanks for asking. I believe it's the bible that says work for six and on the 7th day the easter bunny rested and that meant there would be 6 more weeks of winter.

260: Huh? I don't understand what you meant by that. How come you don't post on weekends?

Do you work 7 days a week?

260: No

Neither do I. Typically I publish Monday to Friday but have on occasion posted stuff on weekends if I have time

260: Oh. I was really hoping to see something new soon

Well guess what? You know what tomorrow is?

260: Yeah. So you'll have something then?

Actually, I might just have something for today

260: Really? i'm on the train right now and I'm bored as f*ck so something funny to read would help.

I agree.

260: So will you write something???

No, I won't... But you did...

260: I don't get it

What station did you just pass?

260: eglinton.

Okay, when you get to Danforth, reload the site

Friday, March 25, 2011

A record day for passengers !!!

Today is the first time since the site's inception where it broke 1,000 visits in one day.

A ***BIG*** thank you to those who continue to share the site on Facebook, Twitter, with friends, with other commuters and around the office.

- C.J.

Logo. With blowtorch.

Yes. I know. I'm asking for it.

Thanks to Fran for the suggestion.

More info here. Be sure to read the comments.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Door Justice?

Tonight I stood on Platform 11 to wait for the 5:20 pm (Union - Oshawa) and from there observed the 5:10 pm (Union to Oshawa) train pulling into Track 13.

Waiting for the 5:10 pm were two GO constables, presumably to check fares. Maybe, but what I found interesting was that they stood near the doorway as the train filled and it looked like to me from their hand gestures and facial expressions (and some lip reading) that they were monitoring the door donkeys, asking the donkeys to let people board.

It was hard to take pictures of this with the 5:05pm train in the way but these two constables were doing a great job at keeping the doorway clear.

Sadly, aren't we all adults here? Isn't it just common sense that while the train is boarding you wait on the platform if you don't plan on sitting, and then board prior to departure? This makes perfect sense to me.

Because no one should have to ask you to move your sh*t

I took this on the 17:53 LSE (today). She took her feet down when her quad filled (minus the bag on the seat) and only removed her bag when a person made her move it.

- Martina
A few years ago, during winter, this woman got on the train I was on and the only available seat was one where a young guy had propped his dirty wet boots up on. She pulled a few Kleenexes from her purse and made him clean the seat for her. He did and then promptly left the car, climbing over people to do so. If he was embarrassed, it was warranted. You're not at some campsite, sitting on a log and you're not the only person on the train, so have some respect.

Speaking of campsites ... It's time for some fire.


With marshmallows.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

If I write a note, then it should be okay, right?

I took the 12:38pm (Oshawa-Union) train on Tuesday.

Sadly, I don't have a photo of the note as I didn't want to risk missing the train since I needed to be at work by 2pm, but here's what happened.

Parking at the Oshawa GO lot after the morning rush is almost impossible. I got there at 12:20pm and circled the lot a few times, slowly following people who got off the train (like a manic shopping mall rat before Christmas) looking for a spot. At the north end, near the trucking company, three spots opened up. I parked and walked towards the train.

As I got near the platform entrance, a man whipped passed me in a Jeep and pulled into a disabled parking spot. He got out and began ruffling through his bag. As I got closer, he was leaning over his hood and writing on a sheet of paper. Then he stuck the paper under his windshield wiper and climbed back into his car. I stopped and walked a little closer, pretending like I was lost, and tried in vain to read the paper. The time now was 12:35pm and he hadn't left his car yet.

I could just make out the words, "Sorry I parked here ... ".

As I headed towards the train, he eventually fell in step beside me. So I asked him, if there was a problem with his car as I saw him write a note, and he says, "Nope. Just needed a place to park and don't have time to look for one... " and he scurried past me onto the train.

A movie I don't want to see

I think I have Bryan's submission beat. I've been holding onto this beauty taken at Bramalea station for a while now...not 1, not 2 but 3 people all parked like morons (in the clearly marked No Parking area).

Dan (formerly) of Brampton.

This Crazy Train's Presto Chronicles, Chapter 5: BlackBerry lovin'

I discovered that I can load my Presto card using the Presto Card website on my Blackberry.

Even better, the Moneris backend payment system also worked and I was able to top up my card on the train last night as it chugged me home.

When it works, technology is awesome.

By request. Door donkeys

Original here

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

GO agrees with me (and thousands of others, too)

We don't care that you're coming back from the airport or Quebec City or were too cheap to take a cab, but during rush hour, none of us owe you the favour or privilege of piling your fridge-sized suitcases onto seats.

GO says so.

- Signed the readers and operator of thiscrazytrain.com (if the logo doesn't make it anymore clear perhaps a smack upside the head is in order)

Because suicide is NOT the answer

Frustratingly penned by Fran H. in an email
to cj@thiscrazytrain.com

I don't know if you've seen this new GO campaign but let's look at what GO is ***really*** trying to say here. Wouldn't a more effective photo be this one?

Instead of "STAND BACK FROM THE YELLOW LINE", the poster should read: JUST DON'T JUMP.

I'm sensitive to this because I witnessed a jumper on the Stouffville line about nine years ago. If GO wants to ramp this up, be more graphic.

Brampton Boneheads

Lovingly penned by Bryan in Brampton
to cj@thiscrazytrain.com

I graduated from commuting by GO Train some time ago, but I still enjoy your site immensely, and in some small way it makes me miss the adventures of commuting by rail.

As I live in the west, I don't know of the joys of parking in Oshawa, but the Brampton GO lots must rank pretty high on the 'parking anarchy' scale. I was cruising through one of the satellite lots today (which is notorious for creative parking) and encountered this bonehead parking job. Not only do we have a brave Toyota steadfastly parked in no-man's-land, we have a SECOND parker in the Nissan who felt it necessary to do away with tact altogether and park in the damned laneway -- not only preventing anything larger than a vespa to creep by, but also creating issues for the cars parked across from this dolt.

I see the GestapGO ticketing cars every few days, but I think they need to start towing in order for people to get the message.

Dear Mystery Man, your fans love you

As published in today's t.o.night newspaper

Thanks to D.F., L.M., and O.S. for the heads up.

Background here

From the search logs

I love Engrish.

The hell?

Oshawa GO parking lot. Photo by Verena T. No further explanation required.

Old skool. Will it chug? I think I can, I think I can, I think I can ...


Dirty foot riders. Show me where you live so I can come over and walk over your moms' living room sofas in my muddy boots


Just my doggy and me (and no one else apparently)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Because these people are more important than you

Gee, I wonder what she's texting? "hey, i'm holding the train for u. lol. ya. blocking the doors so they can't close."

Folks, what we have here is "door-blocking" to the extreme.

These donkeys are waiting for the rest of their door gang to show up, who just so happen to be late (5:10 pm Union-Oshawa). But hey, that's ok, right? It's not like anyone else on the train wants to get home on time.

I didn't even bother blurring out faces (not that they're crystal-clear to begin with) because I know I'm not the only one sick of this crap and these pretentious turnips need to understand they're not special and holding the train isn't like holding a seat on the bus for your BFF in grade school.

Ain't my fault you late

Photo via Flickr

My grade 12 English teacher, Mr. Connors, would have a heart attack over the title of this post, but it has more emphasis if I use bad grammar, like I'm all street and stuff.

I was nearly run over this morning as I crossed a stop-sign controlled junction in the north part of the Oshawa GO lot. In other words, the dude didn't stop.

The dude looked right at me as he accelerated, yes, ACCELERATED, through the intersection. So you know what I did? I stood my ground. Yes, this was stupid. I agree.

He came to a screeching halt and I remained standing there. To hell with the train! I'll be late for this. What's the hurry?!

I know you'd love to have me write that my bag and earrings came off, and my gloves were thrown to the pavement, but there was no bag beat down.

After a 30 second stand-off, I let the guy go.

There seems to be a growing disregard for pedestrian safety in the parking lots and we shouldn't stand for it. We all have to walk to our vehicles!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

TTC Girl with a Cat (Bloor-Danforth Subway)

via Craigslist

I got on the subway on Friday at noon, and although it was relatively busy it was hard to miss you. There you sat sprawled across four seats with your belongings, cat included. You stared menacingly at me as I approached, and I couldn't help but notice the (what looks to be permanent) sneer playing out across your face. You looked young, maybe 16 or 17, and it seemed a possibility that perhaps in your short life you had been bullied or teased at some point. Maybe about your weight. Maybe your brain (or lack of). Regardless, you were a little young to be lacking in respect, and to be so nasty and spiteful to a complete stranger who asked you politely to move your things. I strongly doubt you paid a fare for each of the four seats you were coveting, which means they should have been available to other riders who had paid the appropriate fare. Perhaps you think I am an animal hater. How dare I ask you to put your cat carrier on the floor, after all! Actually the truth is I am not. I have taken my animals on the TTC for many many years. They either travel on my lap or, in the case of a pet in a carrier or a large dog, under my seat. My dogs learn to keep to themselves, and they do not sit on the seats out of respect for the other riders that a) do not like animals, b) have allergies, c) are part of a culture where touching animals is considered filthy, or d) are wearing nice business attire that they don't want to get covered in pet hair. THAT is respect. To acknowledge that the space is a shared one, and to take into consideration the views that may differ from my own.

I wish you luck in your life, young lady. You are certainly going to need as much luck as you can possibly grasp at the rate you're going. Learn a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. If someone asks you to move your shit (cat included) so they can sit in a seat designated for people (again, I stress NOT bags nor cats) that they have technically paid a fare for, I suggest you comply. And try to be a little more civil about it. It will get you much further in life!

If I see you again, I'll happily sit on your bag if you refuse to move it.

Cheers!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Friday night

I got on the 10:13pm train from Union to Oshawa Friday night and noticed this backpack and jacket when boarding.
The train has pulled into Union with people on it.
When we left Union, I wondered if the person who owned these belongings got off at Union and then missed getting back on the train.
As we pulled into Oshawa, I made a decision to collect the jacket and bag and turn them in at the station.
JUST as I was reaching for the bag, this man comes down the stairs and asks me what I'm doing. I said I thought the items had been left behind.

He had been in the bathroom the entire trip.

All this over spaghetti? If it was scrambled eggs, well, ding! ding!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Stand your ground

From: "Name Withheld"
To: cj@thiscrazytrain.com
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2011 23:11:42
Subject: Rude people

Hey,
So I just found your go train website tonight as I was fooling around on Google and your poll question made me want to email you.
I don't know how many people read your site so I'd like it if you could keep me anonymous. I don't ride the Lakeshore East but I do take the same train every morning on a different line and sit on the same car with people I see almost everyday and recently, at around Christmas, this woman started taking the train. She carries with her everyday a fullsize pillow with a cartoon character on it. Already I may be giving too much away but I can't hold this in much longer. We have quite a ways to go so once she boards, she settles in for her nap. She puts in earplugs, puts on a night mask and adjusts her pillow. The problem is she snores. Snores like a fright train roaring towards a cavernous concourse of a train station. It's so loud that no one else can concentrate and people won't move because seats are gone quickly and the train gets super packed just after the first couple of stops.
Monday morning I was late catching the train and the only seat free was across from her. I noticed a few regulars were prepared because both of them were wearing headphones. I had nothing, not even a book and I was annoyed I'd be sitting with her. I don't like to stand as I find the rocking of the train causes me to feel nauseous and besides, why should her nasty ignorant habit force me to have to stand? She was already settled in but hadn't put her earplugs in yet. I had a shit night and wasn't prepared for a full hour of this bullshit so I decided I would say something.
So I said to her, I hope you don't plan on sleeping this morning because I have a migraine and maybe no one has ever told you but you snore very loud. I had no idea how else to tell her and tried to keep my tone polite. She actually said, Excuse me?. So I said, you snore and it bothers everyone on this train. She repeats what I said and I said yes. So she says well that's tough for you, isn't it and tough for everyone and re-adjusts herself and crams her earplugs into her ears. I sighed and then this lady behind me says, Stand your ground, son. So I turn around and she peers at me between the seats and says, I'm glad you said something. I just nodded and the guy beside her says he's pretty sick of her.
Anyway, the snoring beast heard what we said and yanks out her earplugs (which seem to be useless) and tells us that if we have anything to say we should say it to her face. She was really pissing me off. I mean, what is WITH people?!! This isn't a rolling hotel. It's a public commuter train. Why should we be subjected to her crap?!!! I ignored her. We were moving now at this point and had the attention of pretty much everyone on-board. I was at a loss for how to fix this so I just kept ignoring her and stared out the window. Then out of nowhere she kicked me in the shin. If I were a woman, I would have slapped her but that ain't right no matter who you are so I stood up and said I was going to find the CSA so that when we got to Union, a cop would be waiting for her so I could press charges for assault. I climbed out of the quad and walked through the train and I was so wound up. My heart was hammering away and I feel like an idiot because I didn't pursue it. I guess I should have.
I've seen her everyday this week as I refuse to switch trains but I think other people have said something to her because she didn't sleep this morning.
I would think that snoring would be number 1 on everyone's list of things that other passengers do that make it for a rough train ride in. So I don't think I'm alone here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Off Topic: A big dose of (tear)

If you're trying to stay hydrated after your night of green foam, you might want to put your tear duct plugs in to keep the drops of emotions from spilling out, because this will turn your insides into a quivering puddle.

While shooting the devastation in the Arahama area of Japan, a film crew's attention was caught by a dog who led them to his injured friend. The dog stood guard and protected his down-and-out dog friend until they were rescued and taken to a local shelter.

You know, I don't even mind that Disney is obviously going to turn this heartbreaking/heartwarming clip into a full-length 3D CGI musical movie starring the voices of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.



via Dlisted, via Metro

You complete me

Well someone got their act together!

Tapped my card this evening and my balance showed the $50 deposited yesterday.

You don't have to sleep on the couch tonight...

Like pushing a watermelon through a straw


These are earbud headphones.

Take a look at the size of Uncle's thumb when compared to the size of the earbuds.

Who designed these at RIM? Yes, they came with his Blackberry.

I'd really hate to see how these people colour

And not a lick of snow on the ground!

Thanks to the Skinman for the photo.

Free parking at GO lots means free parking for those who pay to ride the train

To: +1905442743
From: +1416xxxxxxx
Received: Mar 11, 2011 3:33 PM

Cj, speaking of go train parking lot annoyances.....please tell me if I'm being overly sensitive. Every morning I arrive at the Oshawa go lot at around 0530. Every morning I see the same 2 cars pull in, 1 parks while he other one waits. After parking, a woman gets out of her car and jumps into the waiting car, as it proceeds to drive out of the lot. That irks me that people are using this lot as a free public parking lot. I've had to ride later trains in the winter months where there has been no parking available!! Aka the great 1.5 parking space rule that idiots seem to abide by when the lane markings are not clear. Anyway, am I being too critical?

To: +1416xxxxxxx
From: +1905442743
Sent: Mar 11, 2011 5:18 PM

Oh hell no. In fact, see if u can get the plates as I am sure this this goes against go's parking bylaws and isn't fair to you (or any one of us fare-paying GO customers)

To: +1905442743
From: +1416xxxxxxx
Received: Mar 11, 2011 5:26 PM

Well I think they probably just drop the car off during the day and then pick it up after work. But they are not using the go, just the spot that u and I pay for with our ticket fees. It's just frustrating because sometimes finding legal parking at the Oshawa go is impossible after 9am in the winter. Anyway, I'll def report it next time I see them. Thanks again! Great site btw. I read it religiously. Lol

To: +1416xxxxxxx
From: +1905442743
Sent: Mar 11, 2011 5:22 PM

Good. Because sometime during the day, GO will send someone to ticket the car. I will make it so.


I don't really have that kind of power but I suspect that by throwing this up here, it may raise a flag.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Baby, I'm gonna give you one more chance

I'm a sucker for punishment.
From: "PRESTO Customer Service" <prestomailer@prestocard.ca>
To: C Smith
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2011 19:16:51 -0400
Subject: E-purse load confirmed

Thank you. Your order has been processed. Your confirmation details are below.

Changes to your account may take up to 24 hours to process.

Updates to your transaction history will not appear until you have tapped your PRESTO card against a 'Tap On' device or 'Balance Checker' device.

Payment Details

    • Amount: 50.00
    • Email Address: cj@thiscrazytrain.com
    • Transaction Type: Purchase
    • Date and Time of Purchase: 2011-03-16 - 19:15:46
    • Authorization Code: 015543
    • Response Code: 027
    • ISO Code: 01
    • Response Message: APPROVED * =
    • Reference Number: 661621050014536140
    • Goods and Services Order: e-purse Ad Hoc load
    • Cardholder Name: C Smith
    • Card Type: MasterCard

Sincerely,

The PRESTO Team

Off Topic: She's as big as a whale and she's about to set sail!

Source: Unknown

Presto, we've lost that lovin' feelin' ...

I have no faith in the online e-load feature for my card after it took more than 72 hours for my card to show the $50 I deposited last Friday.

The whole reason why I got the card was to by-pass the ticket wickets all together.

What do you think? Should I give Presto another chance?

Off Topic: The best perogies this side of the Ukraine are found in Bomanville

I can't remember who tipped us off (Kary, I believe) but apparently she's onto something in regards to Norm's Deli.

Read on ....

Perogie Paradise Found
March 1st, 2010 Author: Deb Rankine

For me, the culinary litmus test to determine the world’s best perogie is to eat them naked. No, silly. Not me in my birthday suit. I mean the perogie, sans nutty brown butter, mounds of caramelized onions, crispy fried pork belly and full fat sour cream.

Perogie “neat,” if you will.

So last Thursday, when cooking school coordinator and friend, Julia Mason, claimed that the world’s best perogie were found in her own home town, what could I do but challenge her?

Keep reading ...
PS: I'm a huge foodie so I won't apologize for these off topic posts. We all gots to eat.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Train signs as interpreted by my 5-year-old

My daughter rode home with me tonight after spending 4 days with my parents in Toronto's west-end.

She attempted at one point to engage a woman wearing zebra-striped ear muffs into a conversation about said ear muffs which resulted in said woman attempting to ignore my daughter which resulted in my daughter saying, "Excuse me, I'm talking to you." This was met with me telling her that some people don't want to talk to anyone on the train which was met with a "Why???"

God, I wish my kid could read at a grade 12 level. Then I could show her that wonderful WikiHow.com article I found months ago entitled, 'How to Avoid Conversation on Public Transportation'.

At one point, when boredom set in (I knew once she started pole-dancing, it was time to distract her. You never want to watch your daughter, at any age, pole-dance), I asked my daughter to tell me what she thought the signs on the train meant.

Her answers were interesting, especially since her "sight words" are limited to: the, of, and, any, who, why, you, me, or, this, that, cat, sit, to, hi, bye ... etc., mostly three letter words, so kudos to the artists.


Did you know? Your kid can ride for free

Children under 6 ride for free when accompanied by a Presto card holder, monthly pass holder, or full-fare paying adult, so said the lady in the ticket booth when I asked to purchase a one-way fare to Oshawa for my 5-year-old daughter at Union tonight.

Apparently this is new. The old definition was 5-years-old. GO's website isn't updated yet with this information, but if you're on March Break and traveling with kids, this is good to know.

There is a catch, only one child under 6 enjoys a free ride. If you have more than one kid under 6 and no other adult who has paid a fare with you, you have to spot for the other kids and pay a child's fare.

More seats means more opportunities to leave our seats to pee! I should be writing these alerts

"GO E-News Alert"
15/03/2011 01:06 PM

We are excited to announce that we will soon be increasing our rail fleet!
Recently, we purchased an additional 50 new bi-level passenger coaches from Bombardier that we expect to start rolling into service by Fall of this year.

This will enable us to increase our service and extend the length of our trains, allowing us to accommodate an additional 8000 passengers a day which means more seats for you!

Thank you (for) choosing GO Transit!
I don't know who proofread the email before it went out, but the "for" is missing resulting in broken English.

Interesting choice of hardware

The girl across from me is wearing miniature pompoms as earrings.
She looks like she's ready to lapse into a coma which means I can try to get a photo. Stupid blackberry and its shutter...
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Monday, March 14, 2011

Kinda reminds you of Ajax, no?

Off Topic: Dudes ... come on! So good ...

I left work early today (but I was in early) because my husband carpe diem'd since we're kidless for March Break and he ferried me off to Zante Restaurant in Bomanville.

I will admit, I drank too much wine and I'm relying heavily on spell-check but if you live in Oshawa/Courtice/Bomanville/Newcastle, whatever, tonight I had the best Greek food I have ever had this side of the Danforth.

I don't like lamb but my husband had the rack and I tried a little and it was incredibly tender. If you can get pass the sweet little lamb from the Flintstones, then you can inhale this dish.

I had their appetizer platter which consisted of pita bread paired with tzatziki, feta, hummus, sundried tomatoes and olives.

Wow. I really shouldn't have had that half litre of house wine (Jackson Triggs white something or other). My entree consisted of chicken souvlaki. I wound up carting home over half of my meal because we ordered too much food. The calamari was also good.

All together, two people minus alcohol can dine for $55 to $60, including appetizers, inclusive. So worth riding the party train (4:53pm) home.

Don't this make you hun-gray???




This Crazy Train's Presto Chronicles, Chapter 4: What gives? It's been over 72 hours

My Presto card isn't showing the $50.00 I deposited Friday afternoon and I have $9.39 left on my card. Sure, this gets me on the train tomorrow, but what about the ride home?
Looks like loading the card at the stations' ticket booths is the better option.

From: "PRESTO Customer Service"
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2011 14:14:43 -0500
To: C Smith
Subject: E-purse load confirmed

Thank you. Your order has been processed. Your confirmation details are below.
Changes to your account may take up to 24 hours to process (You lie!!!).
Updates to your transaction history will not appear until you have tapped your PRESTO card against a 'Tap On' device or 'Balance Checker' device (I did!!!).

Payment Details

    • Amount: 50.00
    • Transaction Type: Purchase
    • Date and Time of Purchase: 2011-03-11 - 14:10:11
    • Authorization Code: 054450
    • Response Code: 027
    • ISO Code: 01
    • Response Message: APPROVED * =
    • Reference Number: 661621050014484750
    • Goods and Services Order: e-purse Ad Hoc load
    • Cardholder Name: C Smith
    • Card Type: Visa

Sincerely,
The PRESTO Team

Does a minute matter?

I'm pretty sure the 7:21 Oshawa-Union train left a minute before schedule this morning, not that I've synchronized my car clock, watch or Blackberry to GO Transit time or anything.
What gives?
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Friday, March 11, 2011

Ever since honeys was wearing sassoons

How do you make what's supposed to be a 50-minute train ride (but now stretched out to an hour and a half because the switch troll decided not to come into work today) a good one?

By chillin' out, maxin', relaxin' all cool and reminiscing about one of the best periods for early rap & hip hop - the late 80s/early 90s.

Myself, Uncle, Rotary Dial (I can't really call her that anymore because she's traded in her 1997 cellphone for a touch-sensitive phone) and Jill decided to rap some old skool tunes.

Here they are in no particular order (with video!). Enjoy.



Click here for the full list of songs.

More on the chatty GO bus driver ... Man Asked GO Transit For Money In Exchange For Pic Of Driver Using Phone

Picture of GO bus driver using phone published in the Toronto Sun, Feb. 11, 2011. Photo linked/embedded from CityNews.ca

ONTARIO - A man asked GO Transit for payment in exchange for a photograph of a bus driver allegedly using a cellphone while behind the wheel, the transit agency says.

“A person did contact GO Transit earlier this week (Feb. 7) and asked us to pay for a photo that the person claimed to have taken of a GO bus driver using a cellphone while in operation,” GO Transit spokeswoman Vanessa Thomas told CityNews.ca.

“As a provincial agency, we did not purchase that photo,” she added. “We appreciate that the photo was brought to our attention. The person didn’t provide us with the photo and now through the media we’ve seen the photo.”

GO wouldn’t provide any information about the man who captured the image. The Toronto Sun, which ran the photo Friday, only identified the photographer as a 19-year-old named Peter.

Continue reading this article on CityNews.ca

This Crazy Train's Presto Chronicles, Chapter 3: All I want to do is put money on my card

I swear on a stack of Bibles I honestly could not figure out from the landing page where I click to reload the e-wallet for my Presto Card.

Right here. Or you can log in using the form on the home page found on the right hand side under "Registered". This wasn't obvious to me at first glance.

What was frustrating for me on the home page and what threw me off were the three "visual cues". They don't address what I'm looking for. What CURRENT cardholders are looking for. As for drawing more attention to the sign in process on the landing page, how about "Active Cardholders" over the form fields?

Better yet, how about a fourth icon on the same line as the other three that reads "Load My Presto Card"? This shouldn't be buried after logging in.

When you put three big visual cues on an interface, instinctively your users will begin with those "actions". I think the landing page should address every user's needs, not just people new to the Presto Card.

People of Go Transit. I think you may be on to something...

Below is a text exchange I had last week with a person who thinks I'm a time traveler. My replies are in green.

Hi So I found your little blog today and I just want to say congratulations for ripping off my idea. A few years ago I had told people I used to sit with on the train that I was going to start a website called People of Go Transit and I would document all the things people do on the train.
What I'm saying is your site is not unique and you should be careful about what you do with people's ideas.

Hi, what train do you ride?

I don't ride the train anymore but I used to

Okay ... what train DID you ride?

I used to take the train to Whitby.

When was that?

How do you mean?

What year?

1997

Do you own a Delorean?

No, what's that?

It's the car from the Back to the Future movies

Okay and your point is?

Because in 1997 I lived in the west-end of Toronto and drove to work

(pause)

So I was hoping I could borrow your time machine because it's the only way I could have stolen your idea and 1997 is more than a "few years ago"

How long am I supposed to know you've been riding the train for?

It says so on my web---, or I'm sorry, seeing it was your idea, on *your* website

How do I know that?

How do you know what?

What it says on the site?

Jesus Christ. Did you even read it?

No, I just saw you have a blog after my friend posted it on Facebook

So you saw that I have a blog and you immediately figured someone had stolen your great idea about people riding GO trains from 1997 ???

(pause)

Hello

(pause)

I'm sure I'm not the first person to sit on a GO train and watch a person hug a support pole and use it like it's $3 Beer Night at some brass pole joint and think to myself, ya know? Someone should write a blog about the crazy stuff people do on a GO train.

Before you accuse someone of stealing an idea, have some merit to your claim such as a draft copy of content, or how about that you actually registered a domain name (ie. peopleofgotransit.com)? However, I do think your name for such a site is a good one so instead of whining to me, how about you actually do something with your idea (which is now over 14 years old, by the way).

At least I'm actually doing something with mine.

Broken record

I'll say it again.

Your bags/suitcases/stuffed animal winnings from the CNE/big screen TV don't ride on a seat on ANY RUSH HOUR TRAIN if you haven't purchased a ticket for that seat.

This morning, this family (two parents and a kid) boarded the 7:53 am (Oshawa-Union) train with several duffel bags (more about the kid later) and piled their bags on the fourth seat of the quad they were in.

(I should also mention that I made the faux pas of using the seat in front of me to support my bag while I dug out my hairbrush which drew an exasperated sigh of frustration from a woman boarding who was clearly annoyed that I would use an empty seat during boarding for this task. This resulted with me addressing her grunt - loudly - by declaring, "All you have to do is ask me to move my bag". Right? Like come on! Look who you're talking to here. I'M ON YOUR SIDE!!!)

At Ajax (where the crowd surge begins) several people got on and not one person asked this family to move their bags while the train was boarding. Sure, lots of dirty looks were cast their way... It wasn't until after we left Ajax that a woman walked over and asked if the seat was taken. The father told her that it's for their bags. The woman (God love her) asked, "Did you buy a ticket for them"? I swear she asked this. I have witnesses! The father said, "No, but we have nowhere to put them." I couldn't hear what this lady said but the mother moved all the bags and piled them on the kid's lap. Prior to this, the kid had been playing a Nintendo DS (no headphones) and had been subjecting everyone to his guns and laser game. Now he had no hands to do so. Point, US.

Got luggage? Take VIA. Their trains can accommodate your vacation baggage. GO trains can't. I know we've had this discussion before but we're all paying passengers and it's not my problem that you chose rush hour as your time to get to the airport. Sorry. Seating is already at a premium on the trains as it is.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Train bunny


I guess Easter can't come fast enough for some.

Logo. Version #5

Who gets the accolades for this idea you ask?

FRED

As much I love K.P. and his "weeeeee" rollercoaster arms, it's time for something new.

I guess I should start a gallery soon to house all the logo renderings.

Yep, this about sums it up


Oh, you don't know about KP? Read all about him.