Monday, April 29, 2013

When you see stuff like this, you always wonder what the back story is. Photo of baby left behind at GO station

Source: Twitter

If this is true, it's wrong and things need to change

This comment was made on my rant last week about the smoking infractions at Oshawa.
Last week I was at GO early and the stench was unbearable, even though there was only one smoker in evidence - right by the door, right under a no smoking sign.There is NO enforcement. I have become convinced, by experience and news from reliable sources, that this is not about allocating scarce enforcement officers, or overloaded workers, or logistics. This is a conscious policy arrived at, perhaps at even the highest levels of Metrolinx brass, Nto OT to enforce the policy and NOT to discomfort entitled smokers.The fine for smoking is set at $45. There have been periods of time when I have been at a GO station where a pair of enforcement officers could make upwards of $2000 in a one hour period. The smoking is regular, visible and plentiful. This is just at one station.But my sources told me that Health and Safety Officials at GO were advised by Enforcement people at their own level that the unwritten policy is NOT to enforce the bylaws at all, if possible, and to only enforce pro forma and intermittently on complaints.This may well have served the need and aim of not ticking off regular clientele (smoking GO passengers are creatures of habit, don't ya know) when smokers made up 30% or even 20% of clientele... But adult smoking levels are down in the 15% range.The consequences of that are two-fold: the 15% left are majority, bull goose loony severely addicted and self-entitled idiots; and the number of people like CJ and myself who are medically compromised by exposure to cigarette smoke may soon outnumber the butt suckers...Very soon there will come a realization that a tipping point has occurred. GO will not be about to continue this much longer...

"Please exit the train immediately"

What the hell does that mean?

In all my years riding the luxury transit system known as GO Transit, I've never heard a CSA ask passengers to exit the train immediately, but that's the announcement that was made this morning when the 7:15 OSH-UNST train rolled in to Platform 1. It was all kinds of rude. We're not cattle.

What does the CSA think we're doing? We're exiting. We're exiting at a pace that a single aisle and two set of stairs for 200 people will allow.

You can't rush off a GO train, not unless you climb over people or stand near the doors in anticipation of them opening so you can launch yourself onto the platform. The door donkeys are the only people who leave any train immediately.

What I hate are those of you who climb over me to stand in a line that isn't moving, or stand right in front of where I am sitting so your bag is in my face or worse, your ass is inches from my nose. Just don't do that. Wait until there's a gap and then get up, or how about you just wait til I get up? M'kay?

Because there's no such thing as going into Costco to buy one thing

My first mistake before hitting the Oshawa Costco was asking my husband to join me. My second mistake was listening to him when he said, "We should get a cart."

I went in for salmon. Salmon! $17 quickly became $186. Ergh... I know for a fact that psychologically Costco is set up to be a consumer game of want versus need. It's impulse shopping on a grandiose scale for those with grandiose disposable income, which many Costco members don't have, but think they do.

I swore I'd never become a member but my husband wanted cheap gas and my mother kept enticing me with comments about their meat and fish, so I caved. But of the five times I have gone into the place, I have been unable to leave with only the item I intended to buy and each time I was with my husband. It's totally his fault.

And before you ask what does this post have to do about commuting, it has absolutely nothing to do with commuting, but you can take a bus to Costco. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

At least GO makes money ... Amtrak, not so much

A politician who reads my blog and who asked to remain anonymous (for now, until you give me a reason to post our email exchange) sent me this article because he feels I believe GO Transit is a cash-grab for the Ontario Liberal government and squanders taxpayers' money. I don't ever recall making such a statement. I challenged him to provide a link to where on my blog I wrote that. So far, silence.

I read the article anyway. This line, "The railroad, created in 1971 to take over money-losing passenger operations from freight carriers, has never made an annual profit" - the hell? How is that possible? Oh wait ... oil, 'merica, cars...

Amtrak is asking the US government  for $2.1 billion to buy trains and improve infrastructure. Good luck with that.

Full story, if you're interested. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Aww, I hurt the smoker's feelings

This morning I made my return to the big commute (only coughed once on the bus) and decided to bring along my surgical mask to protect my lungs from the Oshawa cancer club who meet each morning at the bank of Presto machines at Oshawa GO.
I'm recovering from bronchitis and cigarette smoke can trigger the mother of all coughing fits.
I'm also asthmatic.
I guess my appearance was upsetting to one regular lady smoker who muttered she found me "offensive" as I pushed past her to tap my card. I'm tired of excusing myself to these people. They have acres of parking lot to pollute but instead pollute the air near the entrance to the platforms.
I didn't respond or engage. Once I was passed her, I made sure she saw me remove the mask. She saw me put it on while I approached the machine so she knew exactly the point I was trying to make.
The sense of entitlement exhibited by her, who is a regular of the club, is nauseating.
Two weeks ago, GO Transit told me and their Twitter followers that the smoking infraction situation at Oshawa would be addressed. Last night I learned that dozens of passengers had been forced out into the rain because people were smoking in the bus shelters. This is unacceptable.
GO Transit doesn't care about my safety or my comfort as a passenger.
Their inaction about this problem, which is rampant at all their stations, proves that GO merely provides lip service and that's not good enough.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

CNN aka Crappy News Network uses stock footage of GO train instead of VIA train re: bomb plot


Full video here.

Only asthmatics will laugh

Thanks to Chuck who sent this to me. I don't have any tattoos and probably never will but if I cared to, this would be number one on the list.

Could ... could it be true? That ... that I'm actually feeling better?

Why yes, yes it is.

My employer has been amazing during my illness. I work for a very supportive group of people (a group of people who are happy I can connect to the office from home and work like I was there, but I digress).
Not having to do the 3-hour, roundtrip, walk/GO bus/GO train/walk/GO train/GO bus/walk commute these past seven days has been a God send. I have spent that time resting.

Submissions to the site have been slow. I've got two great photo submissions that are screaming for Photoshop that I will sit down and do when I feel up to it, but a few things came across my email that again, didn't really fit the criteria of the site and again, I get the whiny, "How come you didn't post my story/photo"? Because it sucked, that's why.

I know. Ouch.

But come on, your photo has to be funny or interesting to me to make it onto the site. Showing a guy sleeping with his mouth open? Big deal. A train full of Blue Jay fans? Big deal. A cat in a carrier? Big deal. A bird in a bird cage? Big deal.

I look for blatant rudeness and nonsense that can make your commute a crappy hour and bad parking jobs. I also want odd, weird and stupid stuff. A person sleeping with their mouth open isn't interesting. Now if that person had a ball gag in his mouth, then we're talking.

Got it? Ball gag - good. Open mouth snoring - no thanks.

Anyhow, check this out, thought it was interesting.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Park how I want to? Don't mind if I do!

The level of desperation exhibited by clowns who park like this is always comical to me.

Burning question. Is this legal?

A reader writes via text message:
This woman be eating an apple with an impressive blade. That legal?

Yes. It is perfectly legal to eat an apple on a GO train. As for the knife, I'm not a lawyer but I live with two cattorneys. One says as long as it's under five inches and you're not trying to hide it, you can carry a knife around in public in Ontario. The other says there is no length requirement for knives in Canada, you just can't conceal it... sooo... the minute this person puts that knife back into her bag, she's breaking the law?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Double. Suck.

- Submitted

That's right GO Transit, spoil us Lakeshore folks like we deserve to be spoiled. GO trains to run every 30 minutes beginning June 29

Contain your orgasms, LSE'rs!

I feel bad for the people on the Barrie line, but hot damn for us on the Lakeshore line! Besides, you Barrie riders do have those quiet zones...

April 19, 2013 10:15 am
Ministry of Transportation

Ontario is making it easier to take public transit by adding more GO Train trips along the Lakeshore line. 

Starting June 29, GO trains that currently run hourly along the Lakeshore line between Aldershot and Oshawa will run every 30 minutes, seven days a week.

More here

Hello. Do you have asthma?

Like how my pharmacist numbered all the inhalers for me?

I only went to work once this week - Wednesday. The rest of the week has been a mix of work from home and sick days.

I was officially diagnosed with asthma when I was 12 but have suffered with symptoms since I was six. I remember my mom, with a cigarette in her hand no less, asking the doctor why I was having trouble breathing when I caught a cold and would bark like a seal when I coughed. This would have been 1981 when everyone smoked - doctors included.

It wasn't until years later, when I was in the seventh grade and after a rigorous game of volleyball during gym class, I collapsed to the floor wheezing, my eyes watering, and feeling like someone was sitting on my chest, that a visit to the doctor (the same doctor when I was five) proved I had a problem. My parents had stopped smoking by then but the damage had been done. They don't like it that I blame them and their smoking (in the house, during dinner) but I have to understand that the dangers surrounding second-hand smoke weren't well known back then. I really should be blaming our family doctor. He was old school. His late diagnosis of my asthma was medically malicious as he's lucky I didn't die before I got help. Right? But I'm not bitter.

Anyhoo... yesterday I made my way to my doctor because I was convinced I had bronchitis (we asthmatics are very good at self-diagnosis). He agreed and put together a rescue plan for me and introduced me to two inhalers I haven't tried before: Ipratropium Bromide (Atrovent) and Ciclesonide (Alvesco). These two inhalers along with my old stand-by of Salbutamol (Ventolin) are to be taken all at once in the morning, with Atrovent and Ventolin taken three more times throughout the day, and then all three again at night. I was told to take all three when I got home, despite it being the middle of the day, and then take them all again when I went to bed.

Around 10:30 last night, as I drifted off to sleep, I experienced a spasm in my chest that felt almost like a seizure of the diaphragm. It felt like I was coughing on the inside. I called TeleHealth. The nurse said it was probably a side effect of all the inhalers and to only to go to the hospital if I felt tightness in the chest. It took four hours for the spasms to subside and I finally fell asleep at 3 a.m., but is this normal? The sensation was a first for me. I wasn't scared, just annoyed. I've put a call in to the doctor and pharmacist.

The good news is the coughing has gone from every five minutes to a fit once an hour. I've never been on Ciclesonide before. I'm looking to hear from others using this drug. Share please!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A sobering read

Scott Simpson is a talk show host in Halifax and runs the website BigAssSuperstar. I've known Scott for 20 years.
Recently, he and his wife Amanda had a beautiful baby boy named Gordon. I follow Amanda on Facebook but had no idea of what had happened during her delivery.
Scott blogged about the birth and the scary discovery.
The news was shocking and heartbreaking and I am praying for them. I need everyone to pray for them.
I also think their story should be shared -  She went in to have our baby and came out with a cancer diagnosis - so positive vibes can be sent their way.

I guess it beats an empty beer can

This was left behind on a GO bus.
This is some classy shit right here, folks. On my bus, we get empty beer cans.
Photo credit:  sammygirly77

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Recovery needed

The management at Great Wolf came through for us and I am satisfied with their kind resolution. Fire alarms aside, we did enjoy our stay despite the exhaustion that stemmed from being rudely roused from bed both mornings.

- - - -
EARLIER - After a disastrous weekend at Great Wolf Lodge as an advance 8th birthday gift to my daughter, who actually turns 8 today, I came down with flu-like symptoms Sunday afternoon.
Our 2-day stay at Great Wolf's Niagara location was plagued with malfunctioning fire alarms both mornings. Saturday's fire alarm was at 5:56 am and Sunday's went off at 5:18 am. It was difficult to go back to sleep as families with small children roamed the hallways, disturbing other guests, while they let their children burn off some steam.
Saturday was a write-off. Sunday wasn't any better. People were pissed.
Then I got sick.
I'm recovering but haven't been commuting since Thursday. I think I'll be back in fine form tomorrow.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I hit a milestone yesterday

For the first time since I decided to climb aboard this blog and scream, "Choo-Choo M*therF*cker!" I've  reached a daily site visit count of 1,000 people. 1,009 to be precise.
And the only reason why my traffic has grown, why people continue to check in everyday, is because of social media and sharing.
So if you emailed this blog to a friend, your cousin in the Yukon, some chick you met in a bar or tweeted it or linked it on Facebook, I thank you.
Keep sharing!!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

This was my morning commute. Start from the bottom and read your way to the top.

  1. R/T ": so she's not at union anymore?! How do we now?" It's in Mike's hands now.
  2. If these girls got separated, why the need to phone 7 people? So many questions but little answers wrt Operation
  3. I just told the girl I hope she gets a hold of . Katie took express bus to Oshawa GO while her friend took the milkrun bus.
  4. I just spent the whole train ride on Operation . No True Blood for me this morning. Dang.
  5. R/T": ok. As soon as I get to Union, I'll start asking everyone if they are . Let's see what kind of response I get ;)"
  6. R/T ": I bet they're college/university students as well? Even scarier when you're young." About 22?
  7. R/T ": Ugh, that SUCKS! I've been in that boat before. It is NO fun.Hope she finds out where she is."
  8. R/T ": Do you know WHY they need to ?" I do not. It had not been said, only that she was to be at Union
  9. R/T ": Lo-jack that phone. WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY."
  10. Dad, aka Mike, is almost at the 401, heading to Toronto.
  11. FYI Katie has a cellphone but it's believed she has the ringer off. It's also been stated that Katie may not realize she is lost.
  12. Katie has been AWOL for a full hour. Operation is in full swing. Recon in 10.

  13. Actually, it was mentioned in the phone convo if the "train people" should be alerted.
  14. I quote "She must be on an earlier train. Get Mike to drive to Union and look for her." Operation just got real
  15. I've followed Operation onto the train. Katie's mother is now involved and a plan involving Katie's dad is now being hatched
  16. The suspense is killing me...
  17. I don't mean to laugh but the level of panic I'm witnessing is hysterical. PS. Katie is not a child.
  18. I need an all points bulletin! Katie has taken the wrong bus. It's now full-on operation
  19. I'm thinking a call to a milk container manufacturer is in order.
  20. So much drama up in this bus over this Katie girl!
  21. Oh my God. This girl has phoned 7 people so far trying to find Katie. Why does she need to find Katie? Stay tuned!
  22. Poor girl in front of me is on her phone desperately trying 2 hunt down a girl named Katie. I'm biting my nails here. LOL@Sorry 2 wake u up