Monday, October 31, 2011
Scan the QR code. Check it out!
I made You. Me. Ride This Crazy Train (and Bus) mobile friendly.
In other words, the site should load in a format on your smartphone and android where it's scaled to the width of your display and shows only the posts.
I hope this makes it easier for those on BlackBerries. Sorry it took so long for me get on this.
How to scan QR codes on your Blackberry
How to scan QR codes for your iPhone
How to scan QR codes with your Android
I like Doug.
Doug is my LSE GO Patriot. He hunts for Foosa. Stands for Foot On Seats Assholes.
Speaking of Foosa. On the coach I was on tonight, the majority of the seats were filthy and no doubt from assholes like this cow pictured who grind their soles into the seat.
I don't get it. These jerks have to sit in the same seats. What gives? It's a disgusting practice and needs to stop.
I've written about this scam before but this evening's story had a different spin and approach.
So here I is just swinging my purse as I toddle south on Yonge Street (which was my first mistake). I wasn't on a full-on, eyes forward, charge to Union.
Queue the dude in the jeans and leather jacket, with his hair in a neat ponytail, pretending to look lost while occasionally glancing down at a white sheet of a paper.
Opportunity struck for him when there was a lull in the crowd and he noticed me strolling along all by myself. When he caught my eye, he asked, "Excuse me?" I politely smiled and waited for him to ask me directions, possibly with an accent, as he had a tourist-like demeanor.
Instead, in rapid-fire English, he tells me he's just been released from jail... Let me stop here for a second, how does presenting yourself as a felon make me want to help you when really all I want to do is get the hell away from you? Not the best background story.
He continues. He tells me he doesn't want food, or sympathy. He tells me he's Indian - Cherokee, and asks me if I've heard of Orillia. Playing along, I say I'm originally from the States and feign confusion about where Orillia might be. This gets him excited (coz he's thinking, sucker!) He pulls out a birth certificate, telling me that he's really from there, saying it's north of the city and he really wants to get home to see his mother who's real sick 'from the cancer'. I nod.
Then he says, problem is, the person who was to pick him up from 'the pen' didn't show and the only money he has is eight dollars in change (which he digs out to show me).
He tells me he needs 11 more dollars for a train ticket and that he's been walking up and down, from Union and back, trying to come up with the money through the 'kindness of strangers', because, and I quote, "my sister told me yesterday she doesn't think my mother will last through the night" while he conjures up some tears.
Does this guy think I'm stupid? No matter what the back story is, the scam remains the same, do what one can to con people out of money.
So I go in for the kill. Now remember kiddies, this guy is desperate to get home to his mama. If it were me, I'd do anything to see my mom before she died.
"Well," I say. "I'm not one to carry cash but if you walk with me to Union, I'd be happy to buy you a ticket using my credit card so you can see your mom". And I was sincere. If I was wrong and he was legit, I meant it.
He places a hand on my arm and says, "That's too much trouble for you and I don't want to take you away from your evening. I was just hoping for some change and then I'd head down when I have what I need".
Wow, what a shocker ...
So I said, "I have to go there anyway as I'm taking the train, too, so it's no trouble." I pull out my BlackBerry. "Let's call your sister so you can arrange for her to pick you up in Barrie".
This was deliberately put forth by me, as earlier, if you recall, I professed to not knowing where Orillia was, but now I know where Barrie is? He didn't catch on.
Here comes the back-pedaling...
"Oh," he says, flustered. "She, uh, she doesn't drive."
Surely there's someone who can pick you up, I suggest. I don't even let him speak, cutting him off. All I want him to do is profess he's a liar. "Tell you what," I say. "Come home with me and I'll drive you."
This really throws him. He looks at me like I'm crazy. I know he's not prepared to take this further.
I look at my watch and proceed to get a move on.
I tell him good luck with life and walk away. I'm not even out of earshot before I hear, "Excuse me... " as the scam continues.
date Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 7:17 AM
Good morning CJ,
I am on the third train out of Barrie this morning and the CSA just announced that due to a medical emergency, the train ahead of us is running express to Union. This means we are taking on all their passengers (from Aurora on), and all passengers have been asked to remove any bags from seats and store them under seats as we're going to be crowded. This is the first time I've heard of a train continuing express due to a medical issue - I sure hope the sick passenger will be okay!
7:23 AM (2 hours ago)
Isn't an ambulance faster?
date Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 7:33 AM
Probably, especially if they took him/her to a local hospital.
Anyone on that express train? I'm curious what the emergency was that it could wait for a train to arrive in Toronto as opposed to an ambulance ride to a hospital located near a station.
First, the bus was late. I expect punctuality. If I'm there at 7:09 am, I expect the bus to be too. Otherwise, GO needs to accommodate for red lights, people who stand and ask the driver a gazillion questions and scale the time better. I'm being somewhat sarcastic but I'm sure in the dead of winter, each minute the bus is late feels like an hour.
Second, all you UOIT and Durham College folk? Listen up kiddies, I'm watching you. The bus has overhead compartments, just like an airplane and that's where your 'backperson' should be, not on the seat beside you. Women should not be standing and swaying in the aisles while your bag rests comfortably on a seat. Shame on you. I have bail money ready for the beatdown.
Ladies and men of girth, see this chunk? I have to fit on a seat too, so as much as it pains you to squeeze your thighs together, try harder because I should not be on the edge of the seat with the metal side bracket digging into my fat ass. When the bus turned the corner, I leaned into the fatty beside me to prove my point. She huffed and puffed and mad-texted a friend about how rude I was. Tough titties, chickie. I'm here to ride the bus, not sprawl out like you are like I'm watching a movie in my living room.
You know how you tell your BlackBerry is on speaker? The people around you can hear your daughter speak back to you like she's on a PA system. This man called his house and conducted an entire conversation in Spanish with his daughter on speakerphone but held the phone up to his ear. After listening to him tell her over and over to wait for her mother to come pick her up and to eat the eggs left in the fridge for breakfast, I asked him, politely, although I wanted to punch him, to take his phone off speaker. The dude held up a finger and shushed me. The hell? I was ready to swear in all kinds of Spanish when he ended his call and stared out the window like nothing happened.
I was so ready to go.
I can't wait to do this all over again tomorrow.
Everyone calls it my "Pac Man" logo so I figured, what the hell?
I don't dress up for Halloween but we do have an event at work today that I'm looking forward to. Then I get to take my kid out tonight who is uber-excited. She's going as a Jersey Cow.
No, not a Jersey Shore character, an actual cow.
For past logo and banners, visit the logo gallery.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
As published on Durham Region.com as a Letter to the Editor
I discovered a crazy thing the other day. I am a new student up in Peterborough, and I have chosen to travel by GO bus. The only problem is that when I leave later in the day I cannot find a parking spot at the Oshawa GO train station. My only recourse was to park illegally if I wanted to take the bus. I first thought I might get a ticket, but then I thought they would not be so mean.Long story short as I can't re-publish the whole letter without Metroland's permission, sucky baby got a ticket.
Since when is getting a parking ticket a "crazy thing"? Who raises these people? There are signs at Oshawa's GO lot that warn people that vehicles parked illegally "may be towed".
The letter writer then goes on to complain that GO needs to do something about parking ... compares Oshawa to Whitby and doesn't think that maybe, now that he is aware of the crappy parking situation at Oshawa, he can save himself the $100 each parking ticket costs, drive to Whitby, take the train to Oshawa and board the bus. Pain in the ass, but problem solved.
The situation isn't going to get better and Metrolinx isn't going to build a parking garage when it's proposed the Oshawa station be moved should they ever go ahead and find the money to build the Clarington expansion (Courtice - Bomanville - Newcastle).
Someone wrote a reply and this person commutes to Ajax. Not surprisingly, the letter writer has zero sympathy for the sucky baby and his parking ticket woe.
Brendon Ramdoo @Candooit83 mentioned you:
@ThisCrazyTrain #gotrain wknd is special; especially post #billsinTO - drunk guys next to me singing Katy Perry 'teenage dream; they look 35
Don't ask me what made me read the back of the packaging considering I've been wearing mascara for the past 22 years (it's like instructions on shampoo bottles). There's a warning message I'd like to share (highlighted in yellow):
Friday, October 28, 2011
I can't stand it when people paint their nails at the office so I'm sure I'd go bananas on a train, too
date Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 2:12 PM
I just want to start out by saying I love your blog and have been a big fan for over six months now. I wanted to tell you about one of my experiences on the LSE 5:20pm train.
I was sitting in one of the quads when the woman across from me diagonally began to apply nail polish which subsequently began to stink up the whole train. Across from me in the quad beside, a man got up in a fury and looked around for who was causing this smell. He even walked up to the second floor and then came barreling back down.
I guess he didn't realize the woman doing it was pretty much across from him.
Finally he figured out it was her and loud enough that the whole train could hear him, he said "Excuse me m'am but can you please not do that? It smells disgusting!" The poor woman looked terrified of this man yelling at her but at the same time I, deep inside, wanted to yell "Power to the People."
Maybe more and more people are learning to speak up....
Thursday, October 27, 2011
That about sums up the Door Donkeys.
October 27 2011 08:05 PM
UNST 20:13 - OSHA 21:11 trn est. to be delyd 15 - 20 mins frm UNST due to a pedestrian fatality involving a VIA trn
Since when? Usually it's much longer than 15 minutes when these things happen.
He got his nickname from me well over a year ago, when after seeing him everyday in the same seat and catching him quietly laughing to himself at my morning conversations with my other two train friends, I equated him to the Uncle almost everyone has who comes to all the holiday dinners, eats, smiles when needed, laughs when it's appropriate, but never says anything and then just goes home when the meal is done.
He was quiet. But I broke him. It took nearly six months but I sucked him in.
Uncle got onto the train when it was at near capacity. Seated in a quad was a kid who was about 10 with a backpack on the seat beside him. Uncle asked him if he could sit and the kid said he was saving the seat. No, Uncle did not pick up the backpack and hold it front of him like a football ready for the punt, he sighed and went to sit on the dreaded three-seater, crammed between two other people. With a minute left to departure and the kid frantically texting, Uncle looks away and then looks back to see the kid running off the train.
Guess Mom couldn't make it.
Of course, we howled over this because it's not like it's the school bus. We can only imagine what Mom was texting. "Stand your ground!" Or what he was texting to his Mom. "This big man asked me to move my backpack. What should I do? I'm scared."
"Get off the train!".
Really, what do you say to a 10 year old who's saving a seat for his mom on a packed express train?
Youth really is on his side.
When Doug emailed this photo and I saw it, I immediately panicked because the vehicle on the left looks like my vehicle and the lot looks like Oshawa, and I was like, the hell? There's no way I'm a Parking Donkey. I don't park crooked.
Upon closer inspection, I realize it's not mine because the dealer sticker reminding me of my next oil change isn't in the window. Jesus. Awkward ...
Doug wrote that he's thin enough to get into his car, shown on the right. I'd be crawling through the trunk.
Blurry evidence reveals bag riding/space hogging/seat blocking is a transit-wide problem even when luggage space is available
Via BlackBerry Messenger
Skin Man: Heading to Aldershot on the VIA, and I realize no one has spoken about their experiences yet on TCT.
Before I describe tonight's fun a little preamble.
VIA is akin to air travel than GO commuting. However, there are at least 50% of the travelers commuting from T.O. to Aldershot or Brantford. I only travel about twice a month this way, as it's double the cost of GO, but better seats and the speed is awesome.
Anyway, being more like air travel, we are treated to the lilting sounds of the french tongue from passengers and CSAs, lots of luggage, families, and of course (always) a ticket check.
So here's tonight's low down....tonight (Oct. 27) we have bag riders (see photo), foot riders, super-onion sub eaters and seat blockers.
I suppose I have to forgive the food eaters as we are travelling to more points west (Windsor) but every other perpetrator of anti-social behavior should be ashamed.
I chose a seat with a bag rider and seat blocker on purpose, who was pleasant about moving herself and her stuff. At least we can celebrate "Gin o'clock" on the VIA.
The only thing I focused on when reading this message was the alcohol. Hot damn.
If I were more fancy, I'd take the VIA train home from Union to Oshawa every night just for the fact that I could drink the whole train ride. Then I would stumble onto the 91 GO bus for a drunken ride home.
This Crazy Train's Presto Chronicles, Chapter 12: If all the Presto card readers are out of service at my station, do I ride for free?
According to an article in the Toronto Star, if the system is down and GO is well aware of the problem in advance, train CSAs, bus operators and station attendants will be advised to tell passengers who boarded, or need to board, or who complained about not being able to tap, that they can board trains without fear of paying a penalty or receiving a warning.
If all the machines are down and there is no "system-wide advisory announcement" and you need to get on the train but you don't want to feel like a felon, because let's face it, those who ride everyday aren't fare jumpers and we don't plan to be, it would be up to the CSA to phone into "control" to advise GO Transit of technical problems.
This is their job. You've done the right thing by telling them and they should do the right thing by respecting your honesty and accepting the mistake of their employer for not having better due diligence to ensure that Presto holds up their end of the contract and better maintains their equipment.
Why should the responsibility always lie with the customer?
If a Presto machine is out of service or there's no operating Presto machine at your station, do you ride for free? According to GO, it's a big fat no.
"We advise our customers to purchase a ticket using another method of fare either by buying through an attendant at the station, paying cash (if on a GO bus) or using an automated ticket vending machine," said the GO Transit lady in the crossing guard vest to me in the Union Station Concourse this morning.
I asked because I was texted and tweeted by some of you who told me there were problems at Burlington, Mimico and Ajax.
If a Transit Officer or GO Safety Officer does a fare check and your card taps as unpaid, you will receive a warning, provided it's your first fare offence.
But what if the only thing you have on you is a Presto card? No cash. No credit card. No debit card. You can board but if you get checked, you're considered a "fare jumper".
This is interesting to hear because two weeks ago, the Presto card reader was down at Union Station at the turnstile for the TTC. Anyone with a Presto card was given free passage. Apparently this was at the discretion of the transit operator, not Presto.
The nice customer service lady this morning told me that if it's a case where machines are down, you have to get to work, you have no other method of paying and all other methods of purchasing a fare are closed, broken, or out of service, you can explain your case to GO at their customer service office and ask that any warning you received be re-considered. If you're fined, you can dispute it.
All this does is make a stronger argument for GO to keep the reliable, paper-based, monthly pass option. Of course, if you forget your pass or lose it, you're on the hook but in the event of a system-wide Presto fare failure, you've got nothing to worry about.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
A woman trailing a rolling suitcase behind her cut in front of my path with little warning and no so much as an "excuse me". My legs collided with her bag and down I went. I did this amazing hedgehog roll and landed on my back where I was nearly trampled by others, only to be saved by a man who stepped in front of me to act as a shield.
The woman responsible for this yelled out an "I'm sorry but I'm late" and scurried off, disappearing into the crowd.
I was carrying a small bag that contained a box of cereal and a Tupperware container of homemade, carrot-apple muffins. The cereal box didn't make it but my muffins survived. The container did this amazing skid all the way across the Concourse floor where it came to rest in front of the Dairy Queen booth. Another gent tracked its path and trotted it over back to me. I was so thankful that I offered him one.
Brushing myself off, I sustained a wonderful scuff mark near the right toe of my brand new leather shoes. Today I noticed a bruise forming across my left bicep. Due to my drop and roll maneuver, I saved myself from further injury. I was wearing black so if there was dirt, I couldn't see it.
At least five people stopped to help me up, helped me gather my things, helped me clean myself off and helped me repair my bruised ego. I didn't get to thank any of them because of course, we're all trying to get to work. My shoutout wasn't published so I'm hoping that they find this website one day. Thank you!
I really appreciate that you all stopped. As for the woman who tripped me and buggered off? I don't know what I would say to her. Other people are just as busy, late, pressed for time ... right?
Here's my kid in a skirt (Heavens part - Choir sings Hallelujah!) And wearing a necklace. And in bows! For school picture day.
Of course, she has to rock the tomboy in her by throwing on her purple boots.
PS. Ever since she's learned purple is my favourite colour, she makes decisions about clothing based on pink (her favourite colour), purple and black. She chose black because my husband doesn't have a favourite colour so she decided it for him.
It's grainy because it's a mobile pic.
More train-based content coming soon. I have all your emails, texts and tweets, etc. Please continue to send stuff in but don't get bummed if I don't share it right away. I like to spread stuff out.
8:31 am - TODAY.
1. Gets comfortable
2. Arranges bags
3. Places coffee
4. Adjusts hair
5. Pulls out makeup bag
6. Pulls out mp3 player with radio tuner
7. Sets station to CHFI
8. Cranks volume to LOUD
9. Proceeds to apply full make-up, the whole shebang: smoothing cream, concealer, foundation, eye liner, eye shadow, lash curler, mascara, combs eyebrows, applies eyebrow pencil, lines lips, applies clear lip foundation, applies lipstick (by now I'm exhausted just from watching her) brushes on powder, applies rouge (blush), applies more mascara and checks her compact three more times before we arrive at union
10. Applies body spritzer (perfume? couldn't tell)
I am in awe of these people. What has someone so busy that they can't do this before they leave the house?
Three words: Ah. May. Zing.
When she spritzed herself, the guy sitting beside me left after that.
It didn't smell all that bad (vanilla bean) but I thought it was a bold (and brazen) move.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Watch how the guy books it when a wall of wine (I know, the horror!) collapses at a warehouse of alcohol (man, I so wanna own my own warehouse of alcohol) in the States.
He's like Superman.
I've been swamped with work and other personal matters and I know most of you look forward to what craziness the GO public have produced and what craziness the texting public have provided and you know I'm gonna deliver. Because I always deliver, just not in the past three days.
I spent my whole weekend with my kid (a rarity) so I have no regrets that "I haven't brought the funny" and "only wrote about strike bullshit". Email me that one more time, I dare you.
I won't have time tonight because I'll be at the Mumford & Sons concert but I hope that tomorrow night I can sit down at my PC and fill the blog with all kinds of hilarious stupidity that will push it forward to the weekend.
Sit tight. I know lunch hours are sucking. Hey, I'm a legend in my own mind. I truly believe that thousands of you do spend your lunch hours refreshing for crazy. Oh, wait, sorry, that's just my multiple personalities who do that.
Jesus, you'd think I get paid for this considering I felt compelled to justify the suck.
Monday, October 24, 2011
In your texting haze, you will climb up the stairs to the wrong platform. You will watch as the train pulls in from the wrong direction (but you're not focusing on that) and you will get on. You will miss the announcements and it's not until you look up and don't recognize a soul and begin to comprehend the train is moving west, not east, will you jump up in panic and flee to the accessibility coach.
I'm not the first to do this on this train, the CSA told me. He said the leaderboards are deceiving to those who are rushing and can only manage a glance (the two Lakeshore lines being listed one on top of the other) before they hightail it up the stairs to the wrong platform.
I nodded. That's not what happened to me but it sounded like the best excuse for my stupidity so I played along.
This is the first time I've ever done this. Thankfully I could get off at Exhibition and catch the 7 pm train back to Union.
I felt like such a tool.
I'm not going to write the name or embed the email address of the business whose flyer found its way under my windshield wiper of my vehicle Friday night at the Oshawa GO lot because I'm not interested in providing free advertising for this 'start-up' through a Google search.
Generally stuff like this doesn't bother me, say, when I'm flipping through the Yellow Pages looking for podiatrists but I'm not crazy seeing something like this on my vehicle. I realize everyone has to make a living but c'mon ... people who clean houses for a living work for an honest wage. Why smut it up?
I'm fairly open-minded but this seemed too ridiculous to be true. So I emailed the "company".
Below is the correspondence.
C.J. Smith to fantasyxxxxxxxxx
show details Oct 22 (2 days ago)
Got your flyer. Is the maid shown on the flyer available? She's exactly what I'm looking for and the reason why I'm interested.
I assume that the gist of this is that I have to be home when she shows up. How long to clean a 3,000 sq ft house with 3 bathrooms?
Will it require two maids? Or does the whole team show up?
I'm excited by this service. Why haven't I seen you on Dragon's Den? It's such a great idea.
Do you also have male maids? Or are you only after gentleman customers?
email@example.com to me
show details Oct 23 (1 day ago)
We don't have that maid. However I do have some beautiful maids to choose from.
If your paying for this kind of service you definetly want to be their. Your home would be around 3 hrs. With 2 girls would cost $360.00.
Most people book for 1.5hrs. one girl at a cost of $135.00. Or 2 girls 1.5hrs. $225.00. We are also in the process of hiring male cleaner's.
Or we do offer reg. cleaning services and you wouldn't need to be their. That would also be 2 girls reg. clothes 3 hrs. at a cost of $120.00.
(I like how she said "regular clothes")
Thanks so much for your encouraging words
C.J. Smith to fantasyxxxxxxxxx
show details Oct 23 (1 day ago)
I really was hoping for the maid on the flyer.
Did she quit?
Is she overbooked?
C.J. Smith to fantasyxxxxxxxxx
show details Oct 23 (1 day ago)
Just spoke to my brother who wants to know what the fantasy is.
Are the girls pretending to clean the house cuz it can't be a fantasy if they actually work, right?
Are the maids open-minded?
firstname.lastname@example.org to me
show details 3:38 PM (6 hours ago)
The girls offer light house cleaning in a seductive manner. If you have any other question please let me know.
Okay, I get it now!
Thanks! Will chat with my bro and let u know!
Yeah, I bet it's light house cleaning. Just some light polishing ... with a happy ending.
October 22 2011 6:34 PM
Will your website still be be operating if there's a strike?
October 22 2011 8:18 PM
Hi. The strike doesn't affect me in any shape or form other than it may make it a gong show at my station.
October 22 2011 8:20 PM
Will your Station be open?
October 22 2011 8:20 PM
As far as I know, yes ... don't stress, unless you ride a GO bus, you'll still be able to get to work. It may be slow as no one knows what it will be like
October 22 2011 8:21 PM
Will you be selling tickets at your station? Will all the stations have tickets?
October 22 2011 8:22 PM
Well those are the people who are supposed to go on strike so I can't really answer that. How about you just give GO a call. Do you need the number?
October 22 2011 8:24 PM
No, that's okay. As long as I know that you're website will be up, I should be okay. I was worried you would have to shut it down so you can go and strike.
October 22 2011 8:24 PM
Ahhh ... wait ... I don't work for GO.
October 22 2011 8:25 PM
Really? I thought you did!!!!!
October 22 2011 8:26 PM
What made you think I work for GO?
October 22 2011 8:27 PM
You know too much!
October 22 2011 8:27 PM
October 22 2011 8:28 PM
GO. That's why I thought.
October 22 2011 8:28 PM
I only know what I know because I ride the train everyday.
October 22 2011 8:29 PM
Too bad you don't work for GO because then you could ride for free.
October 22 2011 8:31 PM
That would be nice. But I don't see that happening.
October 22 2011 8:31 PM
Yeah. Well, thanks for your help.
October 22 2011 8:32 PM
I'm not sure what I helped you with, but you're welcome.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Of course, this is little comfort for those who rely on York Region's VIVA service to get to GO stations
Here's what I've got:
@ThisCrazyTrain tentative deal for now no strike for now
|In reply to…|
@DougerInCanada @ThisCrazyTrain go strike a no go Is this 100%?
No strike! Tentative deal reached. GO to bed -> see this update <- sweet dreams
It's 10 pm on Sunday night.
I haven't read or seen anything on the news about where strike talks stand.
I know York Region bus drivers are on strike. Who knows where 1,500 GO bus drivers, mechanics, maintenance workers, ticket takers and enforcement officers stand?
I do know that Metrolinx is expecting the strike, if there is one, to be peaceful and professional. Isn't that what all employers ask of their union employees? It's up to the people striking how they want to be heard and what tactics they employ. In my opinion, a disruption in train service would definitely get some attention.
As of now, GO train service is expected to be normal tomorrow. But be prepared to wake up to anything but. However, if this tweet is correct, those of you who depend on the GO bus, won't be on one:
Those who rely on other transit systems (we already know York Region is idle) should anticipate that their local transit service won't cross picket lines and won't enter GO stations such as Brampton Transit.
According to the Toronto Star:
The GO workers’ transit union and Metrolinx, the provincial agency that operates GO Transit, was stalled in talks that lasted over night Saturday and all day Sunday, said Ray Doyle, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1587.I'm getting to the GO station early tomorrow. If it's chaotic, I'm turning around and will work from home.
“We’re running out of time,” Doyle said as he waited for Metrolinx’s final offer on Sunday evening.
Metrolinx expects that people who take the bus will have to find another ride on Monday, said spokeswoman Vasie Papadopoulos in an email.
Although GO Trains will still run as scheduled, there will be no additional train service to accommodate the bus passengers should a strike occur. About 37,000 passengers use GO Bus weekly.
Train station parking lots are expected to be crowded.
“We understand that a labour disruption will be disruptive to our passengers and the travelling public. We will work to try and minimize the inconvenience,” Papadopoulos said.
I was on the 18:13 from Union tonight (Sunday). As usual there were departure door donkeys. The train arrived and the doors on the correct platform opened and the wrong platform did not. The Triple Ds were scrambling for the stairs. As they were about half way down the stairs, the departure doors suddenly opened and the Triple Ds raced back up to get on the train. They were complaining about the doors not opening.
I just laughed and laughed.
Good. No one owes these clowns a damn thing. Besides, everyone needs exercise. Whaddya expect, you donkeys? Why do you all act so indignant when the doors on the platform not designated to open do exactly that? Follow the rules, everyone goes home happy. The end.
Friday, October 21, 2011
PREPARE A PLAN OF ACTION FOR MONDAY
As much as Metrolinx would love for you to believe they will do their best to keep their GO Transit network of stations and train corridors up and running, one must be prepared for chaos should picket lines be set up. This is what is causing many people to have concerns. If there's a strike, just how smooth of a commute will it be? Here's the kicker, no one knows. GO has never had a strike before which means, they probably don't have a strike plan.
Maybe this is all for naught and all will be fine by Sunday night.
WHO IS AFFECTED?
About 1,500 GO bus drivers, mechanics, maintenance workers, ticket takers and enforcement officers employed by provincial agency Metrolinx.
GO buses carry about 40,000 people each day. Trains, serving 180,000 commuters daily, would continue to operate.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Talk to your boss and prepare a Plan B. Carpool (what a nightmare that will be). Work from home (if you have such a set-up). Call in sick. Take a vacation day.
IF YOU GO?
I've been told to expect picket lines and disruptions. Plan to leave earlier than normal to ensure you can get to work on time or at least, at a decent hour.
This strike threat has be going on for months and just now, we get some communication from GO? When it's down to the wire? C'mon ...
Some GO Transit service could be affected by a potential labour disruption as early as Monday Oct.24th. While we remain hopeful that a settlement can be reached, a contingency plan is in place to maximize GO Services during a labour disruption and minimize inconvenience to passengers.
In the event of a labour disruption, GO Train service will continue to operate but there would be no GO Bus service. Stations and parking lots would remain open.
We are committed to keeping you in the know and ask that you check our website at www.gotransit.com as well as monitor local news media for updates on the situation in the event you need to make alternate arrangements. These might include local transit or carpools. Check out Smart Commute's free online ride matching service at www.carpoolzone.ca. We appreciate your understanding and apologize for any inconvenience.
October 21 2011 6:34 AM
cj, my gf reads ur site evyday at her off. we had a big fight l/n. i think this is it 4 us. ive scrwed up way 2 many times. i know she will see this & m/b think twice about throwing all my shit out the front dr. shes locked me out. i slept in the car. its bad. shes mad b/c she thinks i slept with a co/wrkr & thnks i.m the dad. im not. i did go out wth this persn b4 i met my gf but shes sleepin around, not me. since im a quiet guy & the fact i would contact her this way should tell her im tellin the truth. can u help?
October 21 2011 7:07 AM
Who's sleeping around and why are you texting like you're paying by the letter. This isn't the Shout-Outs. I don't charge for space.
October 21 2011 7:08 AM
np. the co-wrkr is sleepin around. when she was banging me she ws banging another dude.
October 21 2011 7:09 AM
Are you missing keys on your phone?
October 21 2011 7:10 AM
No. Sorry. I just text rlly fast.
October 21 2011 7:10 AM
Does your girlfriend mind that you use words like "banging" when describing intimate sexual encounters?
October 21 2011 7:11 AM
look, im serious. will u post a msg or not? its not rlly a time to be funny. im rlly upset that shes upset.
October 21 2011 7:12 AM
You said you screwed up before so this means, considering she's threatening to throw away your stuff, that you've caused her to not trust you before. Why should she believe you this time?
October 21 2011 7:13 AM
man, its too erly to psychoanlyze me . jst tell rf i love her and i'll try hrder but i didn't get any1 preggo. k?
October 21 2011 7:13 AM
Have you tried texting her? Calling her? Writing an email?
October 21 2011 7:14 AM
yes but she knows it me.. when she reads ur site she wont know til she starts reding.
October 21 2011 8:44 AM
Consider it done.
October 21 2011 8:57 AM
thanks., means a lot 2 me
7:17 Union-Oshawa. Before I start my story, since when did this train get so full?
Anyhoo, I was seated in a quad with a dude zoned out with headphones on and two women, slightly older than I, who sat opposite each other. To my left was a quad of three with a bag copping a seat (photographic evidence below!!!) I did ask the woman to remove it as people were standing and she said she was saving the seat for someone. The train left Union with that bag on the seat. Man, these people are shameless.
Speaking of shameless, the two ladies sitting next to me hadn't seen each other since high school. It was the only explanation for why one of them began the arduous task of relaying her entire life story beginning with the breakdown of her marriage and then the birth of her two teenage children.
Without disclosing too much about myself, I'd like to point out that childbirth and decisions about how many children one should have are sensitive topics for me especially if people are going to throw out opinions about postpartum depression. Unless you've gone through it yourself, please don't pretend you know what it's like and please don't offer opinions about women who did/do suffer from it and all the things you would have done/do if it happened to you. We are not "weak", "selfish" and "insecure" women who obviously had "broken homes as children" or "distant husbands". The fact that we survive and manage to raise well-adjusted children speaks to our strength, thank you very much.
In a nutshell, you should be able to piece together how uncomfortable and awkward it was for me to be subjected to this conversation. At no point did I say anything to these women because who I am to dictate what people can talk about on a train? Part of it was my fault as I really didn't want to search out another seat on what was a crowded train but when they moved onto discussing couples who decide to only have one child and what a selfish decision that is, and how hard it will be on that only child when their parents are dead, to have "no family left" and no "siblings to turn to". I had to get up and leave.
Why can't people just talk about horrible bosses? Leave the heavy shit for the coffee shop.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
When you see it, you'll know who did it.
I think the glass wall of the platform shelter is the best spot. Oh, and one outside of Union Station.
Those of you who ride back and forth each day like you've been sentenced to two hours of solitary confinement need not keep reading. I've already heard why many people choose to ignore the people they see each day (I was one of you, remember?). The one point that sticks out is it avoids drama. Yeah, well, epic fail for me.
Ideally, I'm looking to capture the attention of those who do have train friends and to discuss the logistics of circles and the breaking of circles.
Train friends do not just happen. Like every friendship, it takes time to build. It's also a tricky semantic because only four people can sit in a quad and I'm not a fan of cross-quad yelling. A shout of hello, sure. But not an entire discussion.
It's not a secret that I have train friends. I just choose not to write about them. And there are people I know on the train from having had casual one-on-one conversations with, that, if I'm on a late train and I see you, and you're up for talking, I'll come and sit with you (you know who you are). In fact, I'll ask you if you're up to talking. I don't assume you're in the mood.
My morning train has a routine. Four of us do try to sit together. There are two others who like to sleep and read, so they don't feel slighted if they're not in the same quad as myself and two others. It became a routine over time - almost two years. I started talking to Charlotte first and then we got to talking to Mamma D and then Blondie C and over the course of a year, this is just how it went down everyday.
Often we get a random who joins us and forces the fourth to sit somewhere else but it's not a big deal. I tend to get irritated if I'm the one being forced to sit somewhere else because of randoms but hey, the seats aren't assigned and you snooze, you lose.
I've since made new train friends outside of my six, core, train friends. I'm open to talking to anyone. But that doesn't mean that so is everyone else.
I guess where I'm going with this is that I know someone who've I've engaged in conversation on the morning train is feeling slighted that "our group" doesn't go out of our way to accommodate this person, or maybe it's because I haven't made an effort to go out of my way to accommodate this person.
I'm not sure how to deal because I feel responsible for someone's feelings being hurt. I knew something was up because of a BBM this person sent me, it was sent in jest, saying they can't be part of the cool crowd. I felt bad she felt that way so I tried to explain why she probably feels that way. I don't think I handled it the right way and probably made the situation worse because I explained that I like to sit with my friends (I know, oh dear). So I've invited the person out for coffee.
I'm looking to hear how others would have handled it. It really is difficult to have four separate conversations at once.
This is a friendship I would prefer to foster separate from the train and I've pulled that off with Jill, Uncle and Bouncer (the two who don't sit with me all the time and the third who has his own train group).
Oh ... wait ... okay, so the BBM that came back completely ignored the coffee request. I guess the damage is too far done. I'm still hoping it's a yes after the person cools down.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Jean-Baptiste aka the Crazy Acadian aka Dad has left a new comment on your post "Wasted bandwidth":
My daughter has one of the quickest wits you ever did see.
I always said she'd make a great politician. They're the best set of jokers out there.
Her mother and I never understood the stand-up thing because the only way to make money is to do movies or have a shtick like that bald Canadian guy who opens empty suitcases for a living. Howie something. Most Canadian comics have it tougher. What's a white, straight Canadian girl gonna do? Dress up as a moose? It would never work.
This picture had me excited.
I thought, yes! Finally! A parking donkey gets his due but no, this was a tow truck driver bringing a vehicle to the Whitby GO lot.
I'm sure there's more to this story. I don't know why anyone would have a vehicle towed to a commuter lot when if it was a dealer service drop-off, they could drive it there unless there's no one to shunt the car, which explains the tow truck. I've drunk too much wine and I'm over-analyzing this photo way too much. I know. I'll stop now.
- Pic courtesy of DS
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I've omitted the text headers (as numerous people have said they find them annoying) and my replies, as always, are in green.
* * *
So you like to mess around with people when they text you, eh?
Do you always state the obvious?
How long did it take you to come up with that? I texted you hours ago LOL
Sorry, I have this thing I do from 9 to 5. It's called a job. It keeps me busy.
So you're just reading my text now?
No. I didn't read anything. I was just sitting here and I got this vision and it was written in arial font with a point size of 10 and it said, "So you like to mess around with people when they text you, eh?"
I'm not even holding a BlackBerry. I am telepathically communicating with you.
Right. I bet you make up your text conversations because they are all read too well rehearsed. Or, you spend a lot of time thinking about your answers.
(long intentional pause by me)
Oh, sorry, I like to take my time and think about my answers before I text them.
That's what I said.
I am in awe of your super brilliance.
I am in awe of how you've managed to dupe people into thinking you're this hilarious comic.
I can't recall calling myself that.
Oh, wait. Former stand-up comic. Which essentially means you failed.
Actually, what I needed to do was pay my rent and working clubs for $75 a night plus a percentage of bar tips doesn't afford much in Toronto.
Right. You failed in being able to establish a comedy career.
Maybe if that had been my ambition but it was something I did as a hobby while going to college.
Still a fail.
Anytime someone writes "former", it means they can't follow through with something.
Yes. I didn't follow through with a stand-up comedy career because I had no desire to be famous.
So you write a GO train blog instead. Pretty sad my friend.
I disagree. I enjoy writing the blog and it's awesome to know people enjoy reading it. I've always liked to entertain.
But you just couldn't make money from it.
I don't make money from the blog either.
At least advertisers know a loser when they see one.
Not a goal of mine.
What to be a loser? That's the only thing you've won at! LOL
I have no desire to make money from a website.
Then I don't get it.
Why you even bother.
Well if I didn't bother, I wouldn't have the opportunity to meet charming assholes like you.
I suggest you watch your mouth.
I never did understand that saying. I can't even see my mouth.
Don't change the subject.
LOL, you act like I started this conversation.
You wrote back didn't you?
Isn't that what you expected? Why else would you have texted me if you didn't expect a reply?
Anyway, good luck loser.
Thanks for the waste of time!
Supposedly the Oshawa GO lot. Early summer. Those are a lot of trees ... mmm ...
From the UK:
It was only by good fortune that the Metro train – containing 20 passengers – was on the opposite side of the track.
Karen Angus, an alcoholic mother-of-three, had drunk wine and taken antidepressants when she got behind the wheel of her car.
While crossing the Metro line at Fawdon in Newcastle, she managed to somehow drive onto the tracks on the night of February 24, 2009.
CCTV footage was shown to Newcastle Crown Court that showed Angus driving her silver coloured saloon 765 yards (700m) along the track from Fawdon towards Wansbeck Road Metro Station.
Prosecutor Debbie Breen told the court: "At about 11pm the Metro driver Alistair Joel saw headlights appear on the other side of the track.
All your space belong to me, plus I'm wearing gloves and opened toe shoes. This weather has me confused
So this morning, before the bare-assed crack of Dawn, I boarded my usual train and sat in my usual section. Not long after I was settled and the train rolling, I noticed a quartet of biddies on the train who were having volume problems.
After I put in the earphones and started listening to my aural entertainment, I could still hear them. Well, one in particular. Nice oxblood boots, but a horrible voice. And someone that has an opinion about everything. Which everyone on the train heard.
I started praying to Jeebus that it is a day-tripper event that these biddies were heading to and that they do not understand that everyone at that hour craves quiet. These quiet cars cannot come soon enough.
Anyhoodles, I got my revenge. By Union she placed her one bag that sat on her lap into the aisle, next to another bag she had there. No one tried to tuck them under the seats. I walked up beside them so that when the train stopped and people moved, I would be in position. I rushed to stop some Twinkie from jumping the seat to stand in front of me. This is important! I have a mission!
I kicked the bag (aka purse). I hooked my foot to it and when I walked, it came along with me. Then I kicked it into the quad behind her.
She probably never even noticed. She was too enraptured with her conversation about measurements.
Made me feel better. And fingers crossed she doesn't come back.
Monday, October 17, 2011
The union representing most of York Region’s bus drivers is warning commuters to start planning an alternative ride on Monday.Full story
Drivers for Miller Transit and First Transit are expecting to receive an offer Tuesday from their employers and then to vote Wednesday and Thursday on whether to accept it.
But the union is not optimistic the offer will be enough to avoid a strike set for midnight Sunday.
Drivers will vote on the offer whether or not the union bargaining committee recommends it, said Ray Doyle, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1587.
“We are anticipating they’re going to turn it down,” he said.
A 26-year-old Milton woman was arrested Saturday at the Bradford GO station lot for being drunk in a public place.This woman was from Milton. That's a long bike ride home when you've gotten on the wrong train. And on the wrong corridor. Just a presumption. At least she wasn't trying to steal and a car and drive.
South Simcoe Police attended the GO Station Lot on Holland Street East in Bradford for a report of an intoxicated female stealing a bike.
Police arrived on scene to find she had fallen from the bike and appeared disheveled and struggled to get up off the ground with minor injuries.
A strong odour of alcohol was prevalent on her breath and she exhibited signs of extreme intoxication.
October 15 2011 9:30 AM
Saw most hilarious placard on train this morning. Bunch of hipsters from Coburg heading into the city for Occupy Toronto and after I pointed out their spelling error, the sign was put under the seat and of course, I didn't take a picture before I said something.
They had written "Congradulations on taking a stand. Make sure your signs show educated opinions."
I see the university degree paid off. They glared at me for the whole train ride like somehow it's my fault they couldn't spell. I also wanted to ask them what their sign meant seeing as most people would come with signs already written or designed, so it's a pretty sad attempt at warning people!
Sunday, October 16, 2011
We left the chalet early and decided to find a place for breakfast. There's not much open along Highway 60 or 11 at 9am on Sunday so we headed into Huntsville, just outside where Deerhurst Resort is located.
At the junction of 60 and 11 is a big box lot of stores and nestled in there, across from Wal-Mart (in cottage country! I'm still amazed to see big box stores in cottage country) is a small diner called Coffee Cabin.
With my breakfast special came a latke. With one bite, I was transported back 25 years when a neighbor of ours would make these every Christmas/Hanukkah season. The latkes at this place were just as good as Anna's, if not better. I wound up ordering a side order of 3 more.
As I've said before, I'm a foodie and when I find good food, I like to let others know. The breakfast we had at this place sure beat what we would have had at Tim Horton's! I was determined to find a place other than Tim Horton's!
Friday, October 14, 2011
Passengers at the Clarkson GO station in Mississauga say their platform is dangerously overcrowded and their train ride uncomfortable now that the 7:58am trip fills up in Oakville.- Toronto Star
Click here for photo
Commuters at the Clarkson station in Mississauga are accusing GO Transit of sacrificing their comfort, convenience and safety to riders one stop west at the Oakville station.
Nearly 700 people have signed an online petition and 57 have contacted GO directly since a Labour Day service adjustment to the 7:58 a.m. train that runs express to Union Station in 27 minutes.
The train used to originate at Clarkson so riders there were accustomed to a comfortable ride, usually in a seat. Now the train starts in Oakville and Clarkson passengers find themselves standing in the aisles and on the staircases. Many worry that the platform at Clarkson has also become so crowded that it’s tough to stand back from the yellow line when a VIA train whooshes through the station fast enough to throw someone off balance.
This morning I woke up to rain but then I stood at the top of the stairs to peer down at the sitting area off the kitchen in this chalet.
Perfect for book reading, right? Which is what I did for most of the day.
Breaking News! The benches, now sporting a coat of fancy gun metal black, have returned to the Bay Teamway
Why was I the only one that could see this for the crisis it truly was?
But can't we all use the exercise? Airport trains expected to make walk to platforms longer for GO customers - MP
The latest sketches of the Weston station show that GO commuters will have to walk an extra 250 feet (76 metres) across the ARL platform to access their trains, said Sullivan. That’s in addition to a longer walk to the station for many commuters because the Weston GO stop is being moved south of its current location on John St. to the south side of Lawrence Ave. W.- NDP MP Mike Sullivan
“In the winter it will turn a lot of people into drivers.”
What's this all about? Read the Toronto Star for more.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
date Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 11:33 PM
subject Wednesday @ Whitby - Kid in Handcuffs
Wednesday evening, I was getting off at Whitby (from the 4:53 Union train) and saw three GO cops who had corralled a kid in one of the vestibules and had him in handcuffs. Anyone see what went down? I've never seen GO cops detain any one like that. He seemed pretty calm and harmless at the time. Just curious!
Well, now you can tell everyone!
Make your mark. Top right. Just above the Twitter feed.
Cheese and Crackers. Smoked by Pop Tarts.
What's best for breakfast on ye ol' GO?
Cheese and Crackers
Tuna or Egg Sandwich
Bagel or Toast
Nothing! Eat at home/work/in the PATH but not on the GO
That's right, we know who really has the balls in this relationship.
My husband and I did the Nightmares Haunted Tour as part our seventh wedding anniversary get-a-way and I just read this morning that the company who operates the place has a Flickr photostream of photos showing patrons scared out of their minds.
When we went, we had this family from Mexico behind us where the grandmother held onto my husband for dear life as she screamed like a banshee the whole time. I kept yelling, "Está bien! Relajarse!" A wasted effort, unfortunately. My husband eventually had the grandmother, mother and aunt clinging to him by the time we reached the exit.
The parentheses aren't mine. The person texting me actually typed those little descriptors in his text messages. I felt like I was having an IRC chat circa 1995.
I've stripped out the message headers ie. date & phone numbers so it flows better for you to read. My replies are in green.
hi (said in a slow drawl) (puts cowboy hat on)
howdy (inserts toothpick into mouth)
John Wayne is dead, dude.
you sure look good in them jeans but they'd look better on my floor (moves eyes slowly down your body)
Game on then.
do you like horses? whiskey? good country music?
Yes. Yes and yes.
Several minutes roll by ...
(grabs your wrist, slide it up alongside my head, push into a tango position) i hope you dance.
Hate that song.
(quiet chuckle) you're good. (whispers in your ear) dinner is by candlelight, come with me to the dining room.
Is this where I roll 6 for strength?
are you feeling weak in the knees?
No, but I am feeling something in my stomach.
(quiet chuckle) butterflies are completely natural.
This is more like cramps.
aw, well, i can take care of that (fetches hot water bottle from bathroom)
It's more like nausea. Let me guess, you're gonna text-pantomime getting on your horse, clopping over to Shoppers Drug Mart and "fetching" me some Gravol.
lol. you got it.
that's better. why not just play along? no harm done.
Dude, I'm already past GO. You, on the other hand, should go directly to jail.
if loving you is a crime, then baby, i'll do the time.
Hey, I've got a great line for you to use on the next person you randomly text message.
i didn't randomly text message you. i know who you are.
Awesome. Anyway, write this down, or pantomime that you're writing it down: "I've got passion in my pants and I ain't afraid to show it. Coz I'm sexy and I know it".
can we get back to our dinner and dance now?
Sorry, I don't like cowboys. Didn't your mamma tell you not to be one when you grew up?
(laughing) no. i figured you'd find this funny.
I do. In a creepy way. Still makes me want to bathe in bleach, tho.
Oh cheer up. You get a branded "A" on the ass for effort.
Okay, that's enough now.
What does that have to do with cowboys?
i can't draw a cowboy with letters and punctuation.
I can. Give me a bit. What's your email. It may not work in text message.
(''' , - , ''')
\ ' . , ` /
\ ' ^ ? /
\ ` - ,'
,- -`\ \ /f
| / \ ',
, f : :`, ,
<...\ , : ,- '
\,,,,\ ; : j '
\ \ :/^^^^'
\ \ ; ''':
\ -, -`.../
' - -,`,--`
gold stars!!! but you stopped at the waist. i wanted to see this 'passion in my pants' you mentioned.
Oh, sorry. I can't make my text that small.