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Friday, October 31, 2014

Man arrested following series of vehicle thefts in GO Train lots

A 41-year-old Brantford-area man has been arrested after a string of vehicle thefts in GO Train parking lots.

After reviewing security surveillance video, police were able to identify a suspect. He was arrested on Oct. 23 in the GO Train Pickering lot.

Police say the suspect, who had break-in tools hidden in a knapsack, arrived on a GO Train.

Eugene White of Oshweken, Ont., faces 12 charges, including five counts of motor vehicle theft and possession of break-and-enter instruments.

FULL STORY
Man arrested following series of vehicle thefts in GO Train lots | CTV Toronto News

I'll just park here and y'all figure out how to get around me, k?

New blue seats on TTC vehicles make it easy to be kind

New blue seats on TTC vehicles make it easy to be kind

Happy Halloween!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Interesting looking bike you have there, can I buy one like it at Canadian Tire?

Bad behaviour on a GO train prompts journalist to ask:

How do you raise kids to have good manners?

Channeling your inner 12-year-old is too easy to do I guess

It's been two days since I discovered something on Facebook and I can't shake it off. As much as I'd like to think I have grown up and accepted my childhood for what it was, I guess the scars are still fresh.

My childhood was loving and safe (to a degree) but it wasn't normal. It couldn't be normal, not when it came to living with my sister, Jennifer. In a nutshell, Jennifer is developmentally and mentally delayed. She is 43 now but she might as well be seven years old. She lives with my parents. She works. She commutes on the TTC by herself (which is nothing short of a miracle) but that's as far as her independence goes.

She is, which not many people realize, my parents' retirement.

As my parents age, I can see how caring for her is taking its toll. So many people do not understand what my parents have had to deal with and continue to deal with. Jennifer is depressed, suffers from anxiety, can be withdrawn sometimes, is moody, is temperamental, is prone to meltdowns, pulls her hair out, self-harms by picking at her hands until she draws blood, is defiant, stubborn, overly emotional and ... exhausting.

My mom drives an hour and half in weekend traffic to my house just to escape.

Growing up, kids in my school, and in my neighbourhood, avoided or ignored Jennifer and when they did notice her, it was to taunt her. This usually resulted in me beating the shit out of another kid and then running off to hide to avoid punishment.

Kids made fun of me for having a sister with special needs. I know, you sit there and think real hard about how ridiculous that sounds, but it's true.

As an adult, I can handle being judged and criticized. Talk about me all you want. Poke fun. Call me names. I really don't care. I know who my friends are. I know who loves me.

But when you drag my sister or family along for the ride, watch out.

Facebook has this "People You May Know" feature. You've probably noticed it. I never paid attention until a name popped up that piqued my interest. My reaction was, 'I remember her?! Wow. I wonder what she's been up to?" I clicked the name and was brought to her timeline.

Scrolling down, I came across a photo album where she wrote she found some old school photos. She posted them and tagged old classmates of mine she was Facebook friends with. Only one is a mutual friend. I suspect that's where Facebook made the you-may-know-this-person connection.

I came across one that had me in it. I'm by myself and looking at a plastic ring. I can't remember what I was doing. She wrote as the caption for the photo, "Can't remember this bitch's name for the life of me."

Ready to channel their inner 12-year-old selves, former elementary school classmates of mine who I haven't thought of since Grade 8 graduation filled up the comment feed with my name and some other details about where I may have gone to high school but it was one comment in particular that stung. A person wrote, "She had a retarded sister, right? Didn't (name withheld) feed her dog shit? That was fucking hilarious."

This was written by a 40-odd year-old woman with, who, according to her Facebook profile, has three kids who look to be under the age of 10.

Oh yes, MOM OF THE YEAR, it was fucking hysterical. Ask my dad how funny he thought that was.

My dad is on Facebook. My mom is on Facebook. If I could read this comment, so could anyone else with a connection to this idiot.

I messaged both women. I was livid. I was shaking I was so mad. But I was diplomatic. I was cool.

I asked, "Are we not all adults now? As adults, don't we have a responsibility to demonstrate to our children that feeding dog shit disguised as chocolate to a person with special needs is not funny? If I can see that photo you posted of me in your "found these school photos" album (and it's Cindy Vxxxxxxxx by the way - the person holding the plastic ring) my mother can see it. My father can see it and probably my sisters. This is not cool. It's not. You both should be ashamed of yourselves. My sister can't defend herself. Please refrain from discussing my sister further in comments visible to the public. My parents do not deserve this kind of public humiliation. Thank you."

Not even five minutes had passed before my phone vibrated to indicate a Facebook notification. The former classmate who posted the photo had replied. She was apologetic (good). She said she would delete the photo (I told her I don't care that the photo is there). My response was that I was shocked that after the dog shit comment, she couldn't put on her "mom" hat and step in and call that person out for not only writing that but allowing for the comment to stay.

There were seven "I'm sorry" in her reply.

Yeah, I'm sorry, too.

Friday, October 24, 2014

OSHAWA GO Station cleared for re-opening

Looks like you'll get home in time tonight after all.

I just received an email from media relations the situation has been investigated and cleared by Durham Regional Police as of 1:15 pm.

No need to schlep home on a GO bus to Oshawa from Whitby.

I'd like to thank Anne Marie Aikins and Bill Grodzinski for their prompt assistance in bringing y'all timely information.

Train on friends. 

Police investigation triggers closure of Oshawa GO Station

UPDATE:
GO Transit Security has informed me that Durham Regional Police are leading the investigation into the the situation at Oshawa. GO TRANSIT and METROLINX are following their lead and the closure and service disruption is based on their recommendation.

In light of recent events in Ottawa, extra caution is being exercised and as inconvenient this situation will prove to be, especially to those with daycare obligations, at least you will be home to put your kids to bed tonight and that's what we shouldn't lose sight of.

From METROLINX:
"Police have closed Oshawa Station for the time being as they investigate a suspicious package. Hopefully it will be cleared soon but I don’t have a time estimate unfortunately. We have a bus bridge taking people to Whitby. Customers on the train were allowed to leave and take their cars home. Security is currently heightened to ensure the safety and security of our customers, staff and the public at large.
Safety for our customers on our system is our first and foremost priority. We are acting out of an abundance of caution.
Our staff – and customers of course - are our eyes and ears of the system and consequently, staff have been reminded to always maintain a level of vigilance. We also ask customers if they see something suspicious, tell someone."

EARLIER THIS AFTERNOON:
As if this morning's switch problems weren't enough of a headache for commuters on Lakeshore East, the Oshawa GO Station has been closed.

A suspicious package discovered on a train prompted an evacuation and cut service to the station. I have contacted both Metrolinx's media department and security team to see if they will tell me anything further.

What does this mean for you?

Passengers looking to travel from Oshawa or to Oshawa should check the GO website as it's not known how long the closure will be and how it will affect today's evening rush hour. Buses are being sent to Whitby to shuttle passengers to the Oshawa GO lot, but I'd make arrangements to be picked up by a friend, neighbour or spouse if this drags on past 3 pm.

There will not be enough buses to handle the passengers who would need access to vehicles parked at Oshawa.

Anyone who has been through a service disruption knows GO struggles to handle the capacity when shuttle buses are called in. The struggle is real.

Tonight may be a good night to stay in the city and enjoy a nice dinner and glass of wine. If I wasn't home today, I'd join you.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I like how she put waves under the title of "CHEAT SHEET"



Back in college, I can't ever recall creating a "Cheat Sheet" but I was amused watching this young woman work on her "homework" on the train last night.

The hell is a Cheat Sheet? And why does it need a title? And why does a title need so much drama?

What happened to writing on your hand?

Back in high school (and it would be awesome if she happened to read this site) I used to pay this girl, Guida, in Jamaican patties to let me copy math test answers off of her. We had the best beef patties at Loretto College.

It was totally worth the investment.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A sad day for our country



This man is Corp. Nathan Frank Cirillo. He was killed while on duty in Ottawa, guarding our national War Memorial. He was unarmed.

The Hamilton native was only 24 and a father.

Rest in peace, sir

Mini school bus trapped in a GO train crossing -- no injuries reported.



According to reports/Twitter:

  • Happened around 8am at the crossing arm near Erindale GO Station
  • 6 passengers on board
  • No damage to bus
  • No injuries
  • Tracks had to be shut down, affecting the Milton line, and inspected

The question remains, "How the hell?"

Long-shot mayoral candidate releases epic transit platform with actual details

I hope that's hot chocolate




This morning. Kitchener train. Thanks to JK for the photos.

Please prove you're not a robot

You may have noticed that CAPTCHA has been enabled on my site.

This crap:


I don't know if it's just my site or all blogs hosted through Blogger (a Google product).

Even though my blog has this setting turned off, it appears Google feels it needs to be my Big Brother and force this onto my site (thanks to Peter who brought it to my attention this morning).

I hate word verification widgets. They are buggy and for Chrissakes, not even real words half the time. I don't even know what font that is. Who can read that?!

What is ufe? That's not a fucking word. It's like these words are generated by a bunch of dyslexics (no offense to dyslexics).

Yes, I am annoyed.

Candidates differ on how to get Mississauga moving better

Monday, October 20, 2014

Stroller vs. Scooter - who wins?

Friday I took my regular GO bus home and then transferred to another bus to do some shopping. To protect the driver, who was innocent in the drama that unfolded, I am not disclosing the route.

At the transfer point, this woman boarded the bus - a double decker - with a large, all-terrain type stroller. She did not ask, but demanded that the three people who were sitting in the accessibility-area jump seat, immediately across from the staircase, vacate the area so she could park the stroller.

Her stroller was similar to this model:



It was huge. Even with it parked in the accessibility area, it took up a lot of room.

I realize she's entitled to her space as a customer on public transit. For the record, I traveled with my daughter on public transit, but I used a folding type stroller. It was nowhere near as large as her stroller and it was compact. I had a Graco snugrider which was a stroller base and the car seat (infant, too) would snap into it. It folded flat and the car seat could be put on a bus seat, carried, or put on the floor (which I don't recommend).

We weren't even on the bus for more than five minutes before we came to a stop where a man in an accessibility scooter, similar to this model, was waiting:

The driver told the woman she would have to collapse her stroller so the man could board. She refused. The man was unable to get his scooter past her stroller and if he stayed on the bus, no would be able to exit the bus.

This woman refused to move or be accommodating. She reminded the driver she was on-board first and a paying customer. The driver told her, by law, he was not allowed to refuse service to the man. He also said he could lose his job.

She said, and I swear on every Bible, "He can take another bus."

This is where I decided to step in. Like everyone else on the bus, I had some place to be and this woman needed to get off.

Before I got a chance to tell this woman how disgusting she was, the man told the bus driver he would wait for another bus and that he wasn't going to complain. "No one is going to lose their job," he said while backing out and off the bus.

The driver looked upset. The woman was triumphant. Her phone rang and she answered, a wonderful opportunity for her to evade the situation. I decided to get off and wait for another bus with the man.

The whole situation was upsetting. At one point, in her exchange with another passenger who told her to get off, she claimed that having a stroller was a disability and she had a right to expect a bus to be accessible for her and her child.

I know. Go ahead and roll your eyes.

Being a parent is not a disability. Sorry. But being an asshole sure is.

Conversations with a GO bus driver

Every day last week and this morning, my route GO bus driver, due to arrive at my stop at 6:43 am, has been late. The lastest being last Thursday when he arrived at 6:57 am.

This morning, I checked the GO mobile app to make sure my route hasn't had a time change, since the bus was late, again. The arrival time was still 6:43 am. The bus showed up at 6:53 am.

This is irritating. If this driver runs 10 minutes behind, then I'll run 10 minutes behind. You know what I can do with 10 extra minutes? Have breakfast. At home. 

When I boarded, I politely inquired if there had been a route time change. His answer? A terse "nope". I asked if the bus is supposed to be at this stop by 6:43 am? I got a terse, "Yep". I then asked, "Are you late because of volume?" He said, "Nope".

I stood there for a second, waiting, you know, for an answer, maybe an apology? Nothing.

So I said loudly, for the whole bus to hear, "Okay, well tomorrow, I'll make sure I'm at the stop at 6:50 then." And I sat down.

I'm a paying customer. I think it's fair to expect answer.

A transit vehicle that tells it like it is

Friday, October 17, 2014

That awkward moment when a stranger realizes you can't afford a phone case



Or it's to protect it from the rain?

I put my phone in a ziplock bag when I'm out riding or walking in bad weather. A lot of my workout gear doesn't have pockets.

Don't worry. I got this - Chilean bus driver

Look at this fare jumper. Tsk.

TIL: Some Durham area college/uni students allegedly do a lot of drugs

I forgot my headphones twice this week which means I've been subjected to listening in on conversations on the GO bus ride home.

Some east Durham area youth apparently do a lot of drugs and we're not talking hidden in a shoebox Mary Janes. Here's what I learned:
  • Cocaine breaks up a lot of BFFs.  Justin and Mike were tight until Justin started dealing and Mike was upset because Justin refused to cut him into any deals.
  • Kristen and Grace don't talk anymore since Grace got real stoned and pissed off the edge of an Oshawa parking garage and threw her panties in Kristen's face.
  • Melanie did so much meth she supposedly cooked Lyndsay's hamster by accident in the oven but it could have been a shoe - she and her friend were too high to remember.
  • The last time Mike saw Justin he was making crack in his aunt's barn in Hampton.
  • Sam got fired from Mickey Dee's after he showed up high to a Saturday night shift and put a bag of plastic spoons in the deep fryer.
I stared out the window a lot while listening to all this drug chatter because I felt awkward and didn't want to make eye contact with any of these people.  What amazed me was the fact that no one cared to be discreet. In fact, it came across like they were proud of these stories.

I'm only 40. I like to think I am far from old-fashioned. My teenage/college stories don't involve any recreational/hard drug stories except for one. I went to a bush party in Collingwood when I was 19. I willingly ate a cookie that had been handed to me. Next thing I knew, I was on a flat-bed wagon being pulled by a tractor, flat on my back, finding it difficult to move. The stars looked like fireworks. I was convinced my eyes were being burned. It wasn't pleasant. I was scared.

Later I learned the cookies had been laced with LSD. My friends thought it was hysterical. I played along although truthfully I was upset.

It's a story I've never thought to freely brag about on public transit. Of course, I realize I am sharing it here...

The only story I was privileged to listen to that I thought was worthy of public consumption was the second story involving Grace and Kristen. Grace not only threw her panties at Kristen but she also threw the car keys belonging to the car Kristen had borrowed from her mother down a sewer grate. Kristen figured it would be a bright idea to call 911. Did I mention both these girls admitted to being drunk and high that night?

Kristen's friend rattled on some more during the bus ride telling us all there were apparently a bunch of charges laid and Kristen was sent to her uncle's Coburg farm for an entire summer to perform hard labour to pay the fines after the court case. The horror of being forced to get up every morning at 4:30 am has traumatized her for life apparently.

See? A happy ending.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Life lately


What?

So he forgot how to hamster. I feel I've forgotten how to exercise.

It's been nine weeks of pure laziness. There's been the odd bike ride here and there but I've lost my way.

This weekend was a disaster.

I've gained, but I don't know how much. I locked the scale in the shed.

I am determined to get back on track.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Reason #9207 why we can't have nice things

Suspect sought after man stabbed and robbed at Eglinton GO Station

Toronto Police Services Photo

Toronto police are seeking  a suspect after a man was stabbed multiple times and robbed while waiting for a GO train.
The incident happened 5:30 p.m. Wednesday  at Eglinton GO Station.
An 18 year old male was approached by a man who demanded his gold chain. The victim refused and a fight ensued.
Police say the victim was stabbed several times during the fight and eventually robbed. He was taken to hospital with a collapsed lung.
The incident was captured on camera, police said.
The suspect is described as about 25 years old, six feet tall and 175 pounds, with black hair and a moustache.
He was wearing a black varsity jacket over a black hooded sweater, blue jeans and a baseball cap.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Toronto police or Crime Stoppers.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

When you see it

Nobody makes you feel anything

Recently one of my good friends gave up on Twitter. She deactivated her account and pulled chute completely, removing the app off her phone and sending emails to those of us she knew personally who followed her to contact her by text or email.

She was tired of all the hate, she wrote to me in a text. I said she needed to understand digital cruelty can be managed and it starts with how she needs to stop allowing herself to be hurt by people who use anonymity to empower them into being jerks.

I'm not like you, she wrote. I don't have that kind of skin. 

She tweeted mostly about being a "lesbian trying to make it in a straight world". It's not like she was out there pushing recipes for chocolate cookies. She chose topics that can cause some very narrow-minded people to lose their fucking minds with hate or ignorance. 

People are cruel but they can be downright awful when they can wrap themselves up in a blanket of uninhabited hate.

I've had my share of trolls. I still have trolls. I have people who visit this site every day with the sole purpose of trying to make me guilty or ashamed for topics I write about, pictures I post or comments I've made. 

But I've learned to manage the trolls by allowing their comments to help me reflect on who I am as a person. If I feel a shred of guilt, then that's because I feel guilty, not because of an anonymous comment.

Nobody makes you feel anything. You feel what you feel based on decisions you make. . 

I really hope she reconsiders her decision. 

People who are different have been bullied for too long into silence. 

Her tweets were a bright light for a lot of people - straight and gay. Twitter is now a darker place now that she's gone.

When does the Quiet Zone become the Quiet Zone?

This morning. About 7:47 AM.  Train leaves Oshawa at 7:53.

Very important business man makes his way upstairs with his phone clamped to his ear.

"Blah blah blah report from Boston blah blah blah Eric in IT blah blah blah call my girl blah blah blah blah blah coffee at RBC blah blah blah blah he's not my bro blah blah blah blah yeah the wife was sayin' blah blah blah..."

He's really projecting this call.

This women behind me stands up like a meerkat.  Her eyes narrow in on very important businessman.

She moves into the aisle to stand near him and politely tells him to can it and points to the Quiet Zone sign on the wall in front of him.

He makes it a point to look at his watch with a tremendous amount of grandstanding and declares the Quiet Zone is not in effect because the train has not left the station. He goes back to his phone call.

She walks away mumbling something about shoving his watch down his throat while I yearn for popcorn.

But true to his word, when the CSA announced last call for the doors he ended his call and lapsed into a coma.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

That's some hardcore sleeping right there


It looks like he's wearing a tire

Rage is building as we head into wetter weather and colder months

A job only Mike Holmes could appreciate (or my pretend contractor boyfriend, Bryan Baeumler)

When this email came in and I looked at the photos on my phone, I really thought I was looking at a broke-ass bird house.

from: AP
to: cj@thiscrazytrain.com
date: Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 8:26 AM
subject: Newmarket CO

Hi, not sure if I am the only one who finds this ugly and half-assed. This is our tax dollars at work. During some recent renovations you can witness the high quality of work that the contractors GO hires do. The rusty knife was also lying on the base of a lamp post for 2 weeks until somebody took it away.



from: Cindy (Cj) Smith
to: AP
date: Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 8:28 AM
subject: Re: Newmarket CO

Hi Andrew
What is that? It looks like a bird house I made in the 4th grade

from: AP
to: cj@thiscrazytrain.com
date: Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 8:35 AM
subject: Re: Newmarket CO

Hahaha. Love the jagged cuts. You think they could have used something a little nicer. Even a piece of inner tube between the sign and fence. In fact just screwing it to the post would work instead of the hose clamp. I find the quality of work is getting worse and worse.

Clearly I didn't try very hard here...

from: JK
to: cj@thiscrazytrain.com
date: Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 9:22 AM
subject: October 5 Photoshop Fail

Hey CJ, continue to appreciate the time & effort you put into TCT, always good for a chuckle or to raise my blood pressure, but hey, as long as I'm feelin', I ain't dyin'.

Just got back from a trip & was catching up on TCT as I rode in this morning.  Looking at your Oct 5 post of the Photoshop fails, wow, too much!  But I did notice something really odd.  You pointed out that that model of bus actually looks like the picture y Michael Taylor you posted right beneath the photoshop fail in question.  OK, they really blew this one - why the heck did they even go to that much trouble to change the way the bus looks?!

Oh well, on to the next item, which is a picture of a bus with a Merry Christmas message on it........... That looks EXACTLY like the bus in the photoshop fail.

Ummmm...........

Oh well, I've pulled way bigger boners than that. Just thought it kinda funny.  I hope you don't post an actual picture of the model waiting to get on the bus and she turns out to be 4 foot nothing

:-S

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

It's the exquisite ornamental fountain that steals the show, really

Yep, that's one way to stop a train fight

Part 5 of an installment, exclusive to This Crazy Train, "Meet the Deckers"

Editor's note: If you have had issues while aboard a Double Decker bus, or have a story about a Double Decker experience, drop me a line at cj@thiscrazytrain.com


Special to This Crazy Train

Keep your eyes on the road, two hands on the wheel...
by Ali Gator (not his real name)

The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) issued two letters to the City of Ottawa regarding the Sept. 18, 2013 collision between an OC Transpo bus and a VIA Rail train.  The investigation is on-going.

The recurring theme in the TSB's verbiage is the driver "may" have been distracted by the video monitor.  For those not familiar with the device, here is the TSB's letter on the matter.

I found the references to the Canada/USA guidelines to reduce driver distraction interesting, especially the following:

"The guidelines are based on the fundamental principle that a driver's eyes should be looking at the road ahead rather than at an in-vehicle device.  The guidelines are designed to encourage automakers to forego in-vehicle systems that require the manual input of data while a vehicle is in motion, or that require unreasonably long glances away from the forward visual scene."

When I saw the photo of the overhead console of the OC Transpo bus, I thought it to be rather Spartan when compared to GO Transit double-decker buses, which are built by Alexander Dennis Ltd, too.  With reference to Photo 1, a GO Transit driver will need to look up to use any of the following instruments:
1. Video monitor
2. HVAC control
3. Destination sign controller
4. PA system
5. Computer aided dispatch / GPS navigation, aka CAD/AVL.  Apparently, GO Transit Operations can send text messages to this device.
6. Multi-channel radio (with handset) for voice communications.
7. Controller for the video system.  Apparently, there is no access this device yet, but it does power up, and it is a distraction, because it’s too bright for some drivers.

Photo 1: Overhead instruments on GO Transit double-decker bus
Photo 2 shows there are controls on the left console, and the PRESTO point of sale terminal is to the right of the driver's seat.  Hanging over the red-handled emergency brake is the microphone for the PA speakers, which are used to announce upcoming stops.  Interactions with the PRESTO machine happen sometimes when the bus is in motion.

It should be noted that drivers of shorter physical stature must make a significant effort to reach up to the controls of the instruments when the bus is in motion.  Not shown is the rear view mirror to see what is happening in the lower saloon.

Photo 2: A complete view of the driver's area
Photo 3: A closer look at the side console
Photos 4 and 5 illustrate another source of distraction; the overhead instruments can come loose from the panel.

Photo 4: Instrument hanging precariously above the driver
Photo 5: Destination sign controller held in place with “official” GO Transit duct tape
As one driver remarked to me, "It was much easier to execute my job before GO Transit introduced all this newfangled technology."  The introductory lines to Roadhouse Blues were never truer and support the Canada/USA guidelines for reduced driver distraction.

There is some contention surrounding the content of the TSB letters, but that's a story for another day.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

This bus driver and Hudson's Bay's Queen Street store should get together


Relevance

GO Transit can't photoshop


This photo is making the rounds on Twitter and Facebook from GO Transit. It's being used to illustrate the importance of having your fare ready before you board a GO bus.

Go ahead and stare at it for a bit.

Here's what this typical model of branded GO bus tends to look like, similar to this photo from photographer, Michael Taylor.

Let's look at the GO photo again, this time from how I see it as a graphic designer and Photoshop artist.


A. No wipers? This is dangerous. Unless this isn't a GO bus and is some stock photo of a bus that was edited to be a GO bus (the wipers could be mounted at the top of the windshield and out of frame).

B. Is that a fare box?!

C. Why does this woman's head curve with the shape of the window? And damn, it's bright on that bus. It's never that bright inside. Not during the day.

D. Where is the door? Shouldn't it be open? The bus is not full. This driver is a jerk!

E. How short is this woman? Is she kneeling? Take a look at the sideview mirror and take in the perspective. She's only a head taller than the wheel well, making her what? Three foot nothing?

F. Dude needs to seriously invest in some fabric softener or Lady E is using some amazing hair care products. Her hair doesn't have a strand out of place in the wind that is causing the dude's jacket to stand sideways.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Karma rode the GO Train this morning

Seated near me are two girls in UGGs, wet UGGs because one of them must have walked through a puddle, or spilled coffee, or trampled through wet grass? Wet UGGs had her boots pressed against the edge of the cloth seat in front of her. You could see the wet stains when she shifted them. Her friend was beside her.

Once we hit Ajax, and more people wanted to sit, wet UGGs' friend jumped up, and sat, in the seat where wet UGGs' UGGs had been and realized she had just sat in wetness, in white jeans.

She stood up, and was frantic, and her friend was all "like, like, like" and she was all "like, like, like" and I was all, "awesome, awesome, awesome".

"Even during off peak hours" - ALL OF THE APPLAUSE

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Moments only a transit commuter can have


from: Assenza
to: "cj@thiscrazytrain.com"
date: Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 9:19 AM
subject: this morning

I can understand as a commuter why Cindy started this blog, because no matter what route you take on a daily basis there is always a story to tell. I think that is definitely the case on the 501 Streetcar route in Toronto.  It's known to be the longest streetcar route in the world, but more than that for me, some of the most entertaining, obscure, and inspiring moments have occurred on that very route.

This morning into work was no exception…

This morning, the streetcar stopped at Queen and Sherbourne.  Kevin Clarke was standing on the southeast corner.  He's a homeless mayoral candidate who I have only heard of and never seen before.  He tags graffiti all over the city about his mayoral run.  He took advantage of the red light, and stopped packed streetcar to unleash his mayoral platform.   In an impassioned tirade, and the short time it took for the light to change to green, he wonderfully projected a keen diatribe of why he was the best choice for mayor and how he would better the city. A packed 501 streetcar full of commuters on their way to work definitely heard him.  He was talking directly to us, I give him full props for taking advantage of the moment to have an audience. Some disregarded him, some pretended not to listen but did, some laughed at him, and some were flat out freaked out by him.  I had a window seat facing south, and made eye contact with him,  gave him my full attention, and was thoroughly impressed.  I flashed him the peace sign as the streetcar pulled away, and he returned it.

I truly wonder what he would be like in a debate, who knows, I can say he's ten times more eloquent than Doug Ford but then again so is Buster the lobby cat in my building.  Still I love riding the 501 because of unexpected moments like that one, and I am not saying that I will mark an X beside his name.  But I gotta say, that likely will easily be one of the coolest moments that happened today, he may not have my vote, but he certainly got my attention and then some.

Love on the GO

Subway videos showcase the things and people we lose

Your requests. Your demanding emails. It's all about you, right?

I'm kidding...

Yep, I do plan on posting the pics I received of the broken PRESTO cards when I create the official ThisCrazyTrain Broke PRESTO card online gallery (maybe this weekend). But don't get too excited, I didn't even break 50 entries but I will reiterate that every entrant had to pay $6 for a new card.

Not a single person had a card replaced under warranty. Not one.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Broken PRESTO card contest takes a turn for humanity

from: Cindy (Cj) Smith 
to: Rav Gill
date: Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 10:57 PM
subject: Congratulations! Steak (or coffee) is on me!

Hi Rav!
On August 8th you submitted an entry into my broken Presto card contest. Guess what!? My cat, using a very scientific process, sat on your email and declared you the winner.
You have a choice between $25 to spend at Starbucks or The Keg.
Please let me know if you are able to meet tomorrow in front of the Dairy Queen at Union Station for 4:45 pm, or a time convenient for you, to collect your gift card. I will pick up the card up on my way down.

Cj


from: Rav Gill 
to: Cindy (Cj) Smith 
date: Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 2:31 PM
subject: Re: Congratulations! Steak (or coffee) is on me!

Hi Cj!

This is amazing. But you know what's amazing? Your website and your desuire to right all that is wrong with this fare card. Truth be told as much I'd like to see you spend that money on me I have a request. Don't be mad. But do you think I can suggest a charitable donation to something that is dear to my heart? And you can make it in my name? You can keep the receipt. Or if it's too little, don't worry. It's the principle of it. I lost my dad and my brother to cancer. I participate in the Terry Fox run every year and in their memories. Would you consider a donation? I hope I'm not overstepping what you were trying to do here and I hope it doesn't cause a problem among those who entered.

Rav

from: Cindy (Cj) Smith 
to: Rav Gill
date: Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 3:19 PM
subject: Re: Congratulations! Steak (or coffee) is on me!

Rav,
That's a wonderful gesture. As for hard feelings among other entrants, I am using my own money to fund the prize so I don't think it matters how it's spent or if you would rather be charitable. I'm all for it. I'll look into the donation and I think you should get the receipt because I believe a $25 donation is tax deductible. If you're comfortable, please send me your mailing address, otherwise, I'll use my information but make it on behalf of you (as requested), or better yet, how about you give me your dad and brother's name?
I do have to announce the winner today and will publish what we chatted about online. Okay to use your full name and where you're from?

from: Rav Gill 
to: Cindy (Cj) Smith 
date: Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 3:24 PM
subject: Re: Congratulations! Steak (or coffee) is on me!

Absolutely! My home address is XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Mississauga, ON XXXXXXX You're too kind. Thank you for this honour. And it's ok to publish my name and any other details you wish to share.
Rav