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Saturday, December 31, 2011

This Crazy Train's Year End Wrap Up

Originally I planned to do a Top 10 but with over 1,000 posts for 2011 I had no idea where to start. So I figured I'd go with the posts that are the most memorable for me, starting with our dear friend KP in a post entitled, "Don't make fun of drunk people. They sue (or so they threaten)".

Then there was the douche bag who absolutely believed that mjxxxxxx@telus.blackberry.net is an email address someone could eventually decipher and hands down, get the right person. Many enjoyed how I handled his ridiculous email to me (this one's a crowd favourite, folks).

The Google searches were amusing. Here's one: Could it possibly be called "Shout Out"?

Then there's the intimate train conversations that people broadcast with little or no filter: It ain't private if you're talking about it on the LSE 5:10 pm train

Oh, and the Valentine's Day present my hubby bought me one year: Not a sex toy

But let's not forget the insane and random text messages. The one I always chuckle at is the one with the guy who was pissed the ticket stamping machines weren't working. Or the girl who got upset over my chainsaw logo - for the version of the logo she was angry about, click here.

And lastly ... that wasn't chapstick.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Drawing of a GO train by JM Smith, 6


JM would like to point out that is NOT a penis on the back of the train, but a connector.

Glad she cleared that up.

I was worried there for a second.

Here's her commentary. She mumbles a bit so you may want to turn up your speakers...

My sister is on vacation in Texas. She emailed this to me

This is your Friday


Burn in hell for laughing? Check.

Bye-Bye Car. Hello Bus

11 am today.
That's when I give back my leased Chevy Equinox.

That vehicle has been a financial albatross around my neck for the past four years.

To make a long story short... back in '07 I have a seven-year old Ford Focus station wagon with close to 150,000 kms on it. Pretty good mileage, I know, but the car needed a whole mess of work. I was working as an IT consultant, on the marketing side, which required travel for client on-site meetings and the wagon just wasn't proving reliable enough for highway use. That car also went through brake pads like a Lab eats food. Every 10,000 kms or so, hubby had to put on new pads. The heater and the air conditioning had stopped working at the beginning of '07 so I wasn't crazy about the thought a driving a car to Mississauga and back, as well as other places around the GTA, in a car with no heat. Because I was a consultant, I could write off lease payments so after months of much thought and discussion, I decided in December of that year to go car shopping. I also didn't plan on driving for more than 20,000 kms a year, so it was the best option.

Here's where I get bitter. I had no car payments, remember that now. Two days after I signed the lease and picked up my vehicle, and after dropping $1500 into the down payment, the company that I worked for, for the past nine years, decided to terminate my contract... eliminated my position. Bam! I was out of a job - a casualty of the economic down turn that was to come. I was given no warning. None.

It took me six weeks to land a 1 year contract with Aon Insurance, right at the foot of Bay Street at Queens Quay. The pay was far less than what I was used to but it was a job.

The commute strapped me financially. $375/month for the lease and $275/month for the GO pass, plus the cost of gas - $145/month and insurance - $86/month. In other words, it costs me almost $900 to get to work each month. Ridiculous, right? I considered Lease Busters but could provide no financial incentive for taking over the vehicle as I would then need cash to buy a beater to get to the GO lot. Daycare logistics as the time required me to have access to a vehicle.

Fast forward to 2011. I can't begin to tell you how getting rid of this vehicle will ease the financial stranglehold this has been. It's been a mortgage for me. Think about. That's a lot of dough.

My husband can do daycare drop off and pick up - for now. In the Spring, we will need to figure something out as his work hours change with the seasons and our daycare centre doesn't open before 6:30. This means I either take a cab every morning with the kid or we walk for 20 minutes. Or we bike. Or I buy a Vespa. I suspect it will be a shit show but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

I warned you all back in the summer I was riding the GO bus come this winter and next Tuesday, it begins. I will not miss the cold, brutal walk across the tundra that is the Oshawa GO lot when it's -25 wind chill and I'm parked at the far north end of the lot, only to get into a cold vehicle with a cold steering wheel.

I'm not thrilled about taking the bus for a variety of reasons but I am thrilled about the $500 plus dollars being put back into my bank account each month. Ecstatic. EC-STA-TIC.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Guest blogger - JM Smith, 6

My mommy rides the GO train and she works at the station but she is on vacation because Santa came!

Okay mommy says she goes to the station for Onions, what? I'm sorry that was an accident. She goes to Union Station and she works in a tower. The CN Tower? No, she says. It's an office tower with computers. She doesn't get to play games on her computer.

Mommy says people can be loud on the GO train.

I ride in a bus to school. We have to be quiet. BECAUSE THE BUS DRIVER SAID!

Every GO train should have a school bus driver and she will tell the people to be quiet.

THE END.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Meanwhile, at Aldershot GO Station



90 minutes eh?

Ay yi yi!

Laskeshore East. Oh man. I heard. Read.

I guess GO couldn't convince any of their train staff to stand outside on the track in this feels like minus 20 degree weather and play signal man, huh? And all this to roll into work for 10:30 am?

Wow.

For those who aren't on the LSE, pretty much every train leaving from Oshawa beginning with the first express train at 5:47 and ending with the last express train at 8:25, were affected by a signal issue near Ajax. One train was cancelled altogether.

I'm on holidays so I missed the fun but at least it's a short work week.

Friday, December 23, 2011

So how was your ride home today? I heard.


Some people should have stuck to VIA, huh?

Guest blogger - JM Smith, 6

I love that reindeer!!! He's -- the "C" and is saying, "Happy Rudolph Day!!!" and the "O" is saying, "Happy Santa Day!!!"

Then they both say, "I love New Year's"!

"I'm gonna ride the GO train to the North Pole to see Santa!" The "O" says.

The "C" says, "I wanna come too!"

So they went.

THE END.

A fitting Christmas hero! Check out these jackasses and how this Santa came to the rescue ...

Oh man, if I had been on this train, I would have sat on her legs. Pinky swear - CJ

Save all the bunnies!!!

txxxxxxxxxx@yahoo.com
2:00 PM (6 hours ago)
to me

Hi C.J.,
I am a big fan of your site and I wanted to let you know that you inspired me to have my own "Crazy Train"-like stand. I am on the 1:13 pm LSE train and you can imagine how busy it is. When the doors of the train opened we all surged aboard. I was lucky and got a seat.

I saw in the quad across from me two dirty foot riders spread out with their feet up pretending to be sleep. There was a young woman trying to get on the train with a big suitcase and a bunny - I know, normally I'd complain about the baggage but it is Christmas and she was trying to be polite about not getting in anyone's way.

Anyway, I put my bags down and went back and asked if I could help her on-board. She handed me the rabbit and by this time the only seats left were in the quad with the "sleeping" twits. I walked over and said "excuse me" to the guy on the outside, who pretended not to hear me. I gently tapped him on the shoulder and asked him to move his feet. He just stared at me like I was being a pest.

So, I tapped into my inner C.J. (I love this part - makes we want to beat my chest) and said firmly, but politely, that he only paid for one seat, so move his feet so others could sit down.

He tried to stare me down but I stood my ground and just stared back. He gave up and moved his feet and I set the bunny down and told the woman that there was a seat free for her. She said thank you and now she and the bunny are seated comfortably for the ride home.

The other twit never lowered her hood and continued to pretend to be sleeping. Others came along but no one else was willing to speak up and just moved along. Both twits ended up with their feet on the remaining seat.

I didn't free both seats but at least I feel like I stood up for someone who doesn't normally take the train and didn't just sit and stew about it... No reference to the bunny intended ;-)

Thanks for the inspiration and happy holidays!

T.

Holidays starts now!



Okay jokers and donkeys, I'm officially on vacation. Note the happy dances above (those grandpas can sure bust it).

There might be the odd posting here and there and I've offered up my 6 year old daughter as a guest blogger. I have no idea what she'll come up with.

Please do have a safe and merry Christmas and eat well!

- Cindy

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dedicated to Shirker. With love ... CJ


What is the cause of this mess you ask?

Your feet. Get them off the seats you donkeys!!!

The hell?


A little off at the knee maybe?


No? So what if it's Christmas? I'm not in a forgiving mood.

Photo credit: DT

What's the point of assigning platform numbers? People on the left - doin' it right

Photo credit: DT

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Looking for people who got tickets for parking at GO lots

I know there are many of you who have driven to the station only to find no spots left and with no time to drive to another station, you parked anyway and probably in a spot where you shouldn't have. You didn't do it maliciously. You weren't trying to stick it to the man, but you got a ticket.

Tell me your story. cj@thiscrazytrain.com

You go on and find that bus ... m'kay?


My responses are in italics.

Text message from 1647309XXXX
To: 19054427423
December 21 2011 01:37 PM

Sorry to bother you. How do I take a bus to Oshawa?

Text message from 19054427423
To: 1647309XXXX
December 21 2011 01:38 PM

Uh, you find a bus that takes you there.

Do you know which bus?

A school bus?

Is this go transit?

Nope.

Sorry I must have texted the wrong number. Thought you could help me.

Nope.

Hi. Sorry to bother you again. So why do you have a phone number on your website?

Aren't you supposed to be looking for a bus?

I'm just curious.

So people can contact me.

For what, considering you're not helpful.

Really? You're gonna give me beef because I won't give you directions for how to take a bus to Oshawa?

So why have a phone number?

So why have hands or feet?

You're a strange person.

You're a donkey.

Name calling isn't very nice.

I'm not very nice.

That's for sure.

Death by a thousand cuts

Kevin B.
kxxxxxxx@gmail.com
12:17 PM (59 minutes ago)
to me

There really should be a test before they give people mobile devices.
I had to endure the scroll clicks from a woman's BB for 25 minutes!!
Do you really need to hear the ball rolling?

Scrolling up .... And down ..... And up.....
It was like nails on a chalk board.

My morning commute was like "death by a thousand cuts"

Put up a public service announcement.

Options - keyboard - trackball/pad - Mute audible roll.


Kevin,

Here's a little ditty for you with how I dealt with BlackBerry trackballin'.

The one time I wish I had a big, heavy suitcase


Really? You can't stretch your legs out under the seat?

Some people didn't get the memo


THIS IS NOT THE BEACH.

In a GO rider's blog. That'd be this one

Presto problem taps riders and dips into their bank accounts
Tess Kalinowski
Transportation Reporter

TORONTO STAR - The last thing anybody needs at the holidays is a surprise hole in their budget. So when Adam Field read in a GO rider’s blog that the automatic re-load feature was malfunctioning on some Presto transit fare cards, he decided to check his statement.

Sure enough, there were 11 instances in which the Presto system loaded $40 on Field’s transit card before it reached the $20 balance that’s supposed to trigger a cash injection.

The auto-load feature allows Presto users to trigger a transfer from a bank account or credit card onto their transit smartcard when Presto reaches a minimum balance determined by the user.

Field had his account programmed to take $40 from a bank account if his Presto balance went below $20. Although he doesn’t think his balance ever went under $50 in the affected period, his Presto account received 11 $40 credits.

But the funds weren’t being withdrawn from his bank, so last week, when he discovered the problem, Field found himself overdrawn and on the hook for about $150 in bank fees.

KEEP READING

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I see your BlackBerry and raise you...



... this old skool agenda.

Never needs charging.
Never loses signal.
Never goes down.

Oh shitty-shit-shit

There are two express trains that leave Oshawa within six minutes of each other. The 7:15 and the 7:21. They also arrive at Union within six minutes of each other.

Yet, mass panic ensues at Oshawa if someone gets on the 7:15 while doors are closing, who intended to take the 7:21.

I spent nearly three minutes calming down this woman who just about burst into tears when she realized she'd gotten on the earlier train.

"Oh shitty-shit-shit," she exclaimed, actually stomping her foot. In all honesty, I thought the woman was crazy. She was extremely distraught, thinking it was an all-stops and she'd be late for her appointment. Not true. You'll be early by six whole minutes I told her.

She even phoned her husband to tell him she was on the wrong train. I kept thinking to myself, the hell? This train is going to the same place as the later one and making the same express trip. I couldn't understand her reaction.

I suspect she won't live very long considering how dramatic life is for her.

T'is the season to be jolly


Seriously. This is hardcore festive.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Looks like most of you have this week off

Well lucky for you.

Not that you can read this.

Well guess what? I'm putting the site on hiatus starting this Friday and publishing will resume on January 3rd, 2012.

I may publish a New Year's greeting and I may wish you all a Merry Christmas and if I get a drunken text or two, I'll throw those up in case you get bored and are looking for something to read.

You know what's a good drink? An amaretto sour. But only the way I make it. Take eight ounces of lemon juice. Add two tablespoons of sugar. Shake the crap out of that in a cocktail shaker. That's your sweet and sour mix. Take three ounces of that, pour it into a glass with ice and add one ounce of Disaronno Amaretto Liqueur. That's my holiday drink. It's my gift to you. Enjoy.

Sorry what was that?

My plans for the holiday?

Sleep. And lots of it. But first, I must bake.

C'mon...


The train is empty for chrissakes. Your wheelie suitcase, despite the newspaper underneath it on the seat, belongs on the floor. It's a suitcase. With wheels. You drag it on the floor, right? So how come on the train, it gets a seat? Please explain.

Ouch.

Bryan Leis

$482 Monthly pass from Kitchener to Toronto on for 2 hours one way. NOT BLOODY LIKELY!

- Twitter

Surely nurses and healthcare professionals don't consider coffee and donuts "breakfast"?


This ad had always bothered me because it speaks to "health". Nothing healthy about that donut.

I like how the graphic designer put a motion blur on the coffee cup and the donut. Makes it look more urgent. Run coffee, run! You catch that train.

I hate all of you mo-fos


I can always pick out the ones who are super friendly. You?

Just sketchin' .... just sketchin' on this Monday morning train


That rooster sure has a nice set of tires. And the flame job is awesome.

I like art.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Found. Is it wrong of me to keep it?


This little guy was already on the train when I boarded Saturday morning in Oshawa.
I took him home. Was that okay?

- Ed P.

Winter driving. You're doin' it wrong.


JC took this picture back in 2007. Apparently the driver of this car had trouble driving in fresh snow near the Newmarket GO station and decided to follow the path of another car. As you can see, the driver quickly found out the path was not from another car.

The hell these people get a licence?

Hundreds?


Found this pic on Twitter. Described as "hundreds of people line up for today's first ever GO train from Guelph".

Lies! That's not a hundred people. I swear, why is citizen-eye reporting so complicated for some?

Can someone also tell me why the GO Transit mascot is a bear? Is there a forest connection I haven't figured out. If it were up to me the GO Transit mascot would be a martini glass. Just because. Another amaretto sour? Don't mind if I do.

Friday, December 16, 2011

This is your Friday

Blah blah blah ... fire suppression ... blah blah blah half rack .... nerd-babble, nerd-babble, nerd-babble


Took the 4:10 LSE yesterday. Had the work Christmas lunch. Drank too much wine. Was forced to listen to some jackass talk non-stop into his BlackBerry from six quads over about server racks, fire suppression, remote hosting and other IT bullshit. Dude never took a break. Never took a breath. Never lost signal. He was talking when I boarded at 4:00 pm and kept talking as the train emptied at Oshawa. He talked so loud I could hear him despite the volume on my headphones set to its highest setting as I watched a movie.

I was standing behind him on the stairs as we pulled into Oshawa. I had this fantastic fantasy of grabbing his BlackBerry and drop-kicking it across the train where it sailed over the seats and slammed into a window, shattering into hundreds of pieces. Then everyone around me cheered and high-fived me as a I jaunted down the stairs and stepped off the train. Like a boss.

Ride the Kitchener and Guelph GO for free this Sunday

Hey my Kitchener and Guelph GO Train peeps!

Got no plans for Sunday? Starting at 1 pm at the Kitchener GO station, you can try out the new service. Those who want to check out the train in Guelph should arrive for the 1:35 pm train.

The new Guelph Central GO Station is located at Wyndham & Carden, and one-way adult GO Train fare to Union Station is $11.70. The new Kitchener GO Station is located at Weber & Victoria, and one-way adult fare to Union is $14.60.

Oh, and my Georgetown friends, your corridor is being renamed. Starting Monday, it becomes the Kitchener GO Train Line.

MORE INFORMATION

Stinky salad made D.T. angry


The whole car smelled like an unwashed armpit after she ate. What the hell was in that salad?

And so it begins ...

From Twitter
@Chris_OVA
#wtf #gotransit. Friday morning GO Train jingle?? "The Go-train is coming to town" all I could do was smile and pretend I felt it was OK...
It's corny.

Here's what I suggest. I don't mind the conductors breaking out into song around this time of year. But there's something to be said for those who can hold a note. If you can sing, bring the merry. If you can't sing, stick to the egg nog.

If you need a singer who can carry a tune, call me. I'm cheap.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Just a quote from one of my favourite comics who sadly, died young, Mitch Hedburg

Ron wants to play Hot or Not

Guess what ladies? Ron has sent a photo and he'd like it posted online.

I was really hoping he'd have a conductor cap on, but no.


He wants to know what "the ladies of the blog" think of him.

What Ron really should have sent in is a photo like this:


Stay within the fantasy, Ron. You make this too easy.

BACKGROUND HERE

Thoughts anyone? On the Salvation Army 3-piece band that serenades us in the GO Concourse at Union?


It's somewhat festive. I particularly enjoyed the tuba player puffing out a Partridge in a Pear Tree this morning.

Google "lost and found" fail #29. My replies are in geen

Text message from 1416869XXXX
To: 19054427423
December 15 2011 09:37 AM

Can you help? I was fiddling with my engagement ring and it fell off onto the platform this morning at Clarkson and I couldn't find it. If I emailed you a reward poster can you put it up for me?

Text message from 19054427423 (CJ Smith, ride this crazy train)
To: 1416869XXXX
December 15 2011 09:39 AM

Do you mean on my site?

What site? Sorry?

My website.

One the GO website! You can do that?! That would be amazing! Thank you!!!!!

Okay, I have to step back here. Did you really lose a ring or are you just messing with me?

Who is this?

Who is this? This is Cindy.

OOMG. Sorry I thought I was texting GO customer service.

Nope. How did you get this number?

From Google.

Wow. Again, amazing...

Sorry?

Never mind.
But tell you what, tell me about the ring and I will post a post on my website about it. How much is the reward?

What website would you put it on?

www.thiscrazytrain.com

I don't think I'm comfortable with that. Will GO people read it?

Yes.

Is it like a shoutout?

Sort of.

Okay I wil be at work soon and I will let you know. Okay? Sorry to bother you.

No worries. The offer is there.

Today's multiple choice question

You're on a crowded morning express train. Your phone rings. It's your wife.
She's crying, sobbing and yelling.
The whole train can hear her, including the engineer and I think also the 14 people waiting on the platform at Union. In fact, my husband texted me, he could hear her all the way in Oshawa.

What's the best way to handle this situation?

a) Attempt to talk to this hysterical woman who isn't listening to you while you repeat, "It's okay" over and over for the next 25 minutes while she complains about what a lousy husband you are and how rotten the kids are.

b) Say, "I can't talk right now, I'll call you back when I have some privacy."

c) Hang up.

d) Turn off your phone.

e) Throw away the battery.

f) b+c+d+e

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Angry GO bus rider hates Presto customers


I'm getting fed up with the bus passengers who rush to be the first to the doors to get off and then hold everybody up while they put down their bags to pull out this damn card! Bus drivers at the Bay St. station will remind passengers to buy a ticket inside rather than on the bus as it causes delays. But Presto? Nope. We'll sit here for another 10 min while the driver figures out how to load someone's card, or how to get it to work if the passenger didn't tap off last time.

I'm sooo looking forward to this gong show come January.

Squiggles squares off with a jerk


Had a stand-off with a jerk yesterday on the 5:20pm LSE. He decided that him and his friends were "too good" to disembark on Platform 11 like everyone else. Nope, instead he thought that they should be given passage through the mob of people on 12 waiting to board the train.

Words were exchanged. I pushed my way through the door, putting people off-balance. Jerk #1 decided to start throwing out insults which resulted in me yelling through the train that the doors open on 11 for a reason.

Anyhoodles, my temper seethed the entire ride home and I crafted this delightful Shout Out to disperse some of the irritation.

"Doors open on Platform 11 for people to disembark. People waiting on Platform 12 are to board the train. Why would you think it was a good idea to push through those waiting people to get off the train and not walk another 10 feet to the stairs? All you proved was that you are a self-centred, self-entitled arrogant jerk!"

Why it's best to leave the mentally ill alone on the subway

WARNING: Contains language NSFW.

Just throwing this out there. The Bay has buy 1 luggage get 2 free

I'm taking advantage of this sale.

Now excuse me while I go hunt down Bonnie Brooks for my cheque.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It looked like someone had taken a cheese grater to a horse hoof



Want some "ick" for the ride home? Take a jaunt over to this blog.

Help a nut out. He doesn't understand the crazy

from noreply-comment@blogger.com

Sure, call me Ron
has left a new comment on your post "Letter from a rail nut ...":

I'm a little taken aback but I will admit I did not spend a great deal of time on your site to see it for what it is. My apologies.

That was your first mistake ...

I do have a good sense of humour which is why I am not mad. When I got your email back to me I couldn't understand why you went off on the tangents you did. My first reaction was: "This woman is very strange". I was actually a little put off, truth be told.

I'm still not sure what to make of you.

Don't worry, the others will help you figure it out.

Posted by Sure, call me Ron to You. Me. Ride This Crazy Train - Adventures and Observations on The GO at December 13, 2011 3:32 PM

This Crazy Train's Presto Chronicles, Chapter 14: All your monies are belong to us - until we figure out where it went

Presto Autoload feature double dipping customers, warns TCT reader. Presto working to fix the issue.

Jodi S. writes:

Presto has been taking $60 out of my account TWICE daily for the last TWO business days (despite the card not needing to be reloaded). They have been very friendly and I know their back office has been looking into it as it is happening to a bunch of people who use the auto-load feature. But people need to check their bank accounts to ensure they aren't going into overdraft! The money that is withdrawn is NOT added to the balance on the Presto cards; nobody seems to know where it is going and why. I suspended my auto-load feature for the time being until the $240 is reimbursed.

Just want to get the word on the street and your site came to mind as the perfect place to start!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The foot riders really hate me so they send me "hate" photos. Like this one


S'okay.

I just got my blowtorch serviced.


What Kitty said.

Wait ... are those ... panties?

Ho' aboard! Major Toronto dailies want to know if you know these TTC subway sex stars


I'm serious.

Do you know this ass?

What is this? The Maury Pauvich Show? Full story here.

Even worse, Toronto's own National Enquirer wants in, too.

And if you can bare it, the video, which will probably be blocked by every business IT department in Toronto, is available here.

I couldn't watch it all. It's too much all kinds of nasty for me. The couple was arrested.

Letter from a rail nut ...


from: railnut@xxxxxxxxxxx.ca
to: cj@thiscrazytrain.com
date: Mon, Dec 12, 2011 at 8:40 AM
subject: Understanding locomotives

Hello,

I'm writing to you to point out something you said on your website about older GO Transit locomotives, specifically this article found at this URL: http://www.thiscrazytrain.com/2011/03/old-skool-will-it-chug-i-think-i-can-i.html. You titled it, "Old skool. Will it chug? I think I can, I think I can, I think I can ... ".

Laugh if you want, but I found that offensive. There's nothing "old skool" about these locomotives. The F59PH locomotives were designed to carry a limited amount of coaches. In fact, the numbered locomotive in the photo you published is the last of the series where EMD stopped building these in 1994. GO Transit began to phase out their use in 2008 which bears question about the date of your article, that being March of this year. This would not have been an express train as typically rush hour service makes use of the MP40PH-3C which offers more horsepower and can push/pull 12 coaches. If you are going to show older locomotives, please ensure you at least give more information such as the time and what station. This will show some respect for the technology and also the fact that MetroLinx (not to be confused with Metrolink in California, who coincidentally, also use the F59PH locomotives) isn't some archaic dinosaur of a transit system.

I strongly suggest that if you are going to demonstrate to your audience a knowledge of rail in Ontario that you do your research. One of my favourite blogs is Train of the Week. Here's more info about the MP40PH-3C: http://trainoftheweek.blogspot.com/2010/05/motivepower-mp40ph-3c.html.

Moreover, I invite you to consider me a friend and should you ever need clarification or assistance with locomotive information or rail in Canada you can contact me at your leisure.

A little bit more about myself. I'm 47. I'm unmarried and live in the same house I grew up in. I have been collecting model trains since I was 11 and have been interested in rail systems since my late teens. I attend all kinds of rail and train shows and have many friends who also share my interests. I enjoy British humour, Dr. Who, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and have a fondness for all things Star Wars. Surprisingly, I don't like Star Trek. I have worked for the last 20 years as an accountant for a large law firm. I enjoy traveling and writing poetry. If you'd like, I can send you a photo of myself or we can Skype each other so you have a better idea of what I look like so you can put a face to the name.

Sincerely,
Ronald Xxxxxxxxxx
(613) 726-XXXX

from: cj@thiscrazytrain.com
to: railnut@xxxxxxxxxxx.ca
date: Mon, Dec 12, 2011 at 7:50 PM
subject: re: Understanding locomotives

Hi Ron,
Is it okay I call you Ron? Nothing against the name Ronald but I immediately think of clowns and I don't like clowns and considering most kids are terrified of clowns, I always found it astounding that McDonald's still chose to use a clown to sell food to children. Don't you?

I'm not a liar so I have to be upfront and honest if we're going to be pals, okay? Here goes. When you wrote all that stuff to me about locomotives and something about California, I had a sudden urge to squirt grapefruit juice in my eyes. That was painful. Why? I'm just not a rail chick. I get on a train everyday and hope it gets me from Oshawa to Union station like it's supposed to. I figure if GO is using a certain locomotive, I have to trust that GO knows that the one they use is better than a donkey and a cart. Or a dog sled. Tho sometimes in the dead of winter, I feel that GO could make good use of a dog sled. How much do you know about dog sledding? I could easily go to Wikipedia.com and throw out some factoids that I'm sure would wow your pants off but I don't like to wow the pants off any man who isn't my husband.

When I was a kid and when I was done watching The Polka Dot Door, followed by Today's Special and then that rotten show called Fables of the Green Forest, I'd get ready to haul ass from the couch to the front of the tv to slap it off before I heard the horrible strains of that tecno synth and then impending "Ooooooh Woooooh Oooooh.... " Don't get me started on that stupid telephone booth. Shit gave me nightmares. You couldn't get me to use a telephone booth as a kid to save your life because I was sure some trash can with cascading inverted coffee cups down its sides and a busted antenna on its head, looking like an R2D2 rip-off, was going to kidnap me and transport me to this evil place where people spoke English weird and wore ascots. But hey, you had me at not liking Star Trek. Don't even get me started on that mess.

One night, as torture, when I was 7-months pregnant, my husband asked me to watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The hell was that!? I swear I sat there for 12 hours while some naked Gremlin screaming about Precious hopped around and shit. I kept waiting for Buffalo Bill to show up and come get his goddamn dog. What those people needed were a bunch of Boy Scouts. They would have got that friggen ring and sewed a couple of badges on to reward the effort with their toes and eyes closed.

I don't Skype so I don't see how that will work. You can send over a picture if you want. I'm not sure what to say to that. I'd hate to say no because I fear I'd leave you lying in bed tonight crying in your pillow but you seem like a decent guy so for sure, if I need rail info such as top speed, how many windows in a cab, how many cupholders, what kind of leather the interior is, etc., you bet I'm gonna hollah at you. Okay? Have a great night.

CJ

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Rush hour - an illustration

Those who get on at the start of a run (i.e. Oshawa) are spared this crap. We only get to deal with it at Union coming home.

GET ME OFF THIS TRAIN!

By VanessaLSW
------------------
So... I'm on the LSW 1815 (last Wednesday). I usually take the express so this all-stops train has felt unusually long.

I'm sitting in the 3-seater by the doors and as we pull away from Oakville, I hear a man yelling: "GET ME OFF THIS TRAIN! GET ME OFF! GET ME OFF!"

A man comes flying down the stairs at the other end of the train car, yelling that he has to get off. He stops at the doors in front of me and starts pounding on them. The train is accelerating and he's pounding on the doors as hard as he can, yelling: "GET ME OFF! LET ME OFF THIS TRAIN NOW!!!"

I'm starting to feel a bit freaked out now. Wondering why this man needs to get off the train so urgently. Did he miss his stop? Why all the yelling? The two men standing near the doors beside me are eyeing each other, wondering if they have to take crazy yelling man down.

Crazy GO Guy starts pacing up and down the aisle and PRESSES THE EMERGENCY STRIP. Everyone around him is yelling, "No! Don't press the strip if you've missed your stop!" He continues to pace up and down the aisle, muttering to himself. I'm starting to feel like my GO ride has turned into a TTC ride.

Luckily, the Accessibility car is next to ours and the CSA reaches the car quickly. The CSA is asking who pressed the strip and we all point to Crazy GO Guy who is now at the other end of the car, pacing back and forth while muttering to himself.

After deducing that it's not a life threatening emergency, the CSA turned off the alarm and went back to the Accessibility Coach.

I'm not sure what Crazy GO Guy's problem is, but he's in serious panic mode. Clutching his head, tapping his feet, groaning, saying, "Oh no, oh no, oh no." He continues to pace from one end of the train to another, while passengers eye him warily.

I think one woman asked him if he was ok and did he need help, but he ignored her and continued to pace the train while saying and occasionally yelling, "I need to get off the train!"

As we arrive at Bronte, Crazy GO Guy lines up at the doors to exit, as the doors open, he shoves the people in front of him out of the way, and runs off the train like there's no tomorrow.

I did hear him mutter something about a laptop, but then he also said the word antique. I can only assume he left his laptop at Oakville station and went back to get it.

Maybe it's the copious amount of Canadian Club and Pepsi, but I found this video hysterical

So someone who likes Billy Gilman - A LOT - decided to make a fan video for Gilman's cover of "Away in a Manger". I had to Google the kid as I'd never heard of him.

The only reason why I am posting this is because "Away in a Manger" is a favourite Christmas carol of mine (despite its religious affiliation) and if a GO Train CSA ever invited me to serenade you jokers like what happened on Friday morning's LSW train into Union, according to This Crazy Train subscriber Tyler S., it's the song I'd sing.

Since it has been so long since I've heard the song, I you-tubed it. What's hysterical about the video are the captions and the fact that the "producer" of this crap puts together Gilman's wardrobe and sets the "scene" of each verse with stock photos.

It's such a hot mess, I had to share. Be sure to check out the standing ovation part (1:48). The opening is funny too because there's no way Gilman, who according to wikipedia has sold over two million albums, lives in a double-wide.

Please, make yourself at home


Morning express train. I kid you not. Guy hangs up his jacket and places his portable DVD player on a seat.

You know what this needs, right?

Hulk... smash!

There. Hulk feel better.

It really is a shame that drivers need lines

This is what happens when it snows in parking lots. This aerial view of an everyday, average parking lot demonstrates what also happens at GO parking lots. It becomes a free for all and a gong show. "Park how I want to", is what I call this nonsense.

It never ceases to amaze me how any driver can pull up beside another car and park half a car-width away, too narrow for another car to fit and technically, taking up two spaces.
I had a woman do this next to me, here's how it went down.

Worse, how about a driver who parks in between two rows? Like this person last winter.

Friday, December 9, 2011

My dad has discovered text messaging

Dad: How come I can not text your website

Me: What are you trying to do?

Dad: I need to tell some people off

Me: Just use the computer

Dad: But I am mobile and I want to keep moving

Me: Where are you?

Dad: In the garage

Me: Dad, do you have auto-correct turned on?

Dad: What turned on

Me: Is it the iPhone you got from the board?

Dad: Yes

Me: What's that thing called again that Stephen Harper is in charge of?

Dad: The government

Me: No, where is it, what's it in?

Dad: Ottawa

Me: Wait, it's not auto-correct... You haven't figured out punctuation on that thing either, have you?

Dad: What

Me: Punctuation. You know !?"'

Dad: Comic book swearing

Me: What?!

Dad: Why did you ask me about Heathen Harper

Me: What's he in charge of?

Dad: Canada

Me: Dad, it starts with a "p"

Dad: Parlyment

Me: Okay, so your auto-correct is definitely off.

Dad: What is auto correct

Me: The iPhone will automatically correct your spelling for you. It's just that it can actually work too well and I don't want you falling prey to it.

Dad: How do you know it is off

Me: We also need to work on showing you punctuation. You know it's not working because you're writing like an upper-crust Englishman and even tho you are asking me questions, you haven't used a single question mark (?)

Dad: Why are you saying I can not spell

Me: Parlyment

Dad: What about it

Me: Dad it's not spelled that way

Dad: Okay smarty pants how is it spelled

Me: Parliament

Dad: I like the way I spell it

Me: It's wrong

Dad: Who cares

Me: I'm so putting auto-correct on that thing

Stay classy, Keanu

Presented without comment


Source: @Patrick_A7 on Twitter

This is your Friday! Ok. Bye

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Texts from a Gremlin


Well no wonder Gizmo doesn't make any sense! He only has two fingers and a thumb.
This gem of a text exchange happened tonight. My replies are in green.

From: 1289897XXXX
To: 19054427423
December 08 2011 10:57 PM

yui likr

From: 19054427423
To: 1289897XXXX
December 08 2011 10:58 PM

Hello?

yoiu ae fgunnty an figedw oyt wdy i knjs jike

The hell? Are you texting and driving?

red nws hlrytous sdyoly grom vertnsm

Dude, that's not even English...

puyupprt

I see you've mastered the Stupid language

oprn bowsr and pste addres

Either you don't know how to spell or you're the world's crappiest texter

Reading your text messages is like waiting for a JPG to load circa 1996

I have to go paint my cat's nails. Catch ya later.

Bue GO can yur bus an i no how to grt iy back k?

Are you a Gremlin?

msg. mee l8r

smeby say yr this driday k bye

For the love of God, please don't eat after midnight. <-Click for the Gremlins movie plot