Category: Life

Orange circles? Green triangles?

By , 2011-03-09 21:47

Took a ride home on the TTC subway last night, after an (awesome) performance of the Vagina monologues.

Noticed that every station had brightly coloured triangles and circles at exactly the same place in every station. We figured it was either some kind of guide or signal for the train drivers, or aliens trying to teach us geometry.


Turns out they’re nothing special. These were added to help the drivers and guards on the subway find the correct alignment with the platform before stopping, Torontoist explains.

While I’m on the topic of subways…. what is the deal with random trains going randomly out of service or changing directions? Last night our train decided to go out of service at Lawrence station, and the doors on our car managed to get jammed shut while the driver kept telling us to get off the train. I don’t get it, it’s not like our subway system is particularly complex….

Toronto's super-confusing complicated subway system


Also, ever wondered why some station have those cool-looking 60′s style flip sign boxes that say “Next train FINCH”?

Well here’s the answer. Originally the Bloor-Danforth and Yonge/University-Spadina lines were integrated. Every second train departing from Eglinton (then the Northern terminus of the Yonge line) crossed over onto the Bloor-Danforth line. The TTC installed these automatic destination signs, which were controlled by magnetic coils installed inside the subway cars, in order to inform passengers of the final destination of the approaching train.

Further reading and a lot more about the history of transit in Toronto at:

My new home desk setup

By , 2010-11-23 22:48

Just reorganized my desk at home.

Lesson learned: Halogen desk lamps and plastic monitor bezels don’t mix.


By , 2010-10-08 23:59

For the first time in my recent memory, I really have to say thank god it’s Friday. This whole week has been a blur. Working on I don’t even know what at work. Yesterday the A/C was down both in our aquarium/office and on the GO bus home. Still not fixed today. High of 37ºC in the office. And apparently Oracle 10g client doesn’t work on Windows 2008.

Been thinking, I really need to get out more. But, without a car, it’s difficult. Kind of alone and yet friends are not far.

Random snippets of thoughts. Can’t write right now. Perhaps my life simply isn’t interesting enough to blog about at the moment.


By , 2010-09-30 16:04

Went to a seminar downtown Toronto today. It was a nice change from the usual routine. I love seeing the city wake up and come alive. There’s just something slightly awe-inspiring about it.

I also saw huge crowds on the street around 10AM. Turns out the Scotiabank centre was having an evacuation drill. Not something you see every day.

And I don’t know why the first picture appears rotated.

Three weeks’ vacation, condensed. Part 1.

By , 2010-05-24 17:07

As you all may or may not know, I just got back from a nice little tour of London, Paris and Mauritius. It was a bit of a spontaneous last-minute decision, and I’m really glad I decided to go. Now, without further ado, let the anecdotes begin. (These are based on my memories, notes and pictures and may not be completely accurate.)

Feb 26, 2010

This morning, I’m heading to the OASBO conference in Missisauga. We had a fantastic snow storm last night, pretty much the first real storm of 2010. Took over 30 minutes to get to Delta Meadowvale… should take under 20. Man that was a “fun” drive… not. This Day 2 of the conference was pretty routine; educational, moderately interesting, and with good food. All the while I was thinking about how in less than 24 hours I’d be in London, and in less than 48 I’d be in the sun in Mauritius. At 2pm, I said goodbye to my coworkers and headed home to do the last bit of packing. Last minute, yes yes I know.

Departure was scheduled for 8:15pm. Headed over to Pearson and had a last coffee with the family before heading off.

Went through security and sat down in the departure lounge with my dad. And at that point the excitement really started to hit. We were called to the gate, and naturally everyone rushed up to form a line to get on the plane. (I really don’t get this, I mean people, you have ASSIGNED SEATS.) Boarded the plane, and I must say I was impressed with Air Canada’s 767. The whole thing seemed newly renovated, with fairly comfortable seats, a cool, modern-looking colour scheme, and the latest movies on the (Linux-based!) entertainment system. Upon my dad’s recommendation, I decided to browse the French movies, finally settling on Paris (2008), since I would be visiting there in a few weeks.

Feb 27, 2010

Arrived at LHR around 8:30am. We had 10 hours in London, so took the Tube to Picadilly we grabbed a ticket on an open-top bus tour so we could get a nice overview of the city, its landmarks and history. In those 10 hours, I got to see Big Ben, the Eye, the Tower of London…. All the big stuff. Still have to go back and get a real taste of the city. Oh also, must go see Abbey Road.

And here ends Part 1. I changed my mind and decided to split this into parts, otherwise either it would never get published, or I’d end up with one incredibly long post that no one will read.

Hair straighteners and makeup

By , 2010-01-09 09:40

This is an open query to all girls out there.

Can someone explain to me what the deal is with hair straighteners and makeup? I mean, honestly. My sister just got a hair straightener and it is completely beyond me WHY she could possibly need one. Her hair is already straight! And even for those girls whose hair isn’t straight… Is it not possible that you’re beautiful with curly or wavy hair? Personally, when I know a girl has wavy hair, I find the natural wavy look a LOT more attractive. That’s not to say that straightened hair isn’t pretty, I just don’t see the point since you’re pretty in the first place…

And makeup… seriously. A lot of it, I find completely unnecessary. I will agree that some makeup, when used properly, does complement a girl’s natural beauty. But, again, I don’t really see the point, because I think that when makeup is actually noticeable, it’s less beautiful than au naturel. Girls, you’re human too, you’re allowed to have not-so-perfect skin, or thin lips, or whatever. You’re beautiful already, so why bother colouring your eyelids or lips?

That’s my rant today. Man it feels good to get this off my chest.

Christmas cheer

By , 2009-12-17 22:51

I don’t think this week can get any better. Today we had a fantastic Christmas breakfast at work, and were treated to a big lunch at Congee Time.

And even better than that, after running into my friend on Tuesday, I called her and we arranged to meet up for dinner on Wednesday. She had to work until 8:30pm, so I stayed late at work and met her at Yorkdale afterwards. We were both tired and hungry, so we settled on dinner at Moxie’s because it had the shortest wait time, and delicious white chocolate brownies. I had a great time, couldn’t ask for a better night. Good company, good conversation, good food… fantastic.

By the way, Emma, hats off to you for surviving all those 10-hour work days. You deserve better :).

Workout and Yorkdale

By , 2009-12-15 16:30

Today I finally started working out again. After much coaxing from a couple of my colleagues, I headed over to the weight room for the first time in quite a few months. I must say, it isn’t so bad, it was actually a nice change from all the sitting around I usually do…

After that, I decided to head over to Yorkdale for lunch, because I was craving some Thai Express. I figured that while I was there, I’d pay a visit to the good old Apple Store. On my way there, I passed by Santa’s “Castle” (which was actually more like three large cones made to look like trees using LED lights) and was admiring the flashing lights when one of the girls working there caught my eye, but then went into a back room. She looked very familiar, so I decided to wait around and see if she would come out again. Eventually, she did, and I realized that it was a very good friend of mine. She didn’t notice me and looked really busy, so I decided to go and buy her a nice hot tea latte. I came back to give it to her, but there was a Global TV reporter and camera in the way. I waited until they left and then went up to the counter to give it to her. She was surprised to see me but unfortunately was quite busy, and I myself was late for work, so I rushed off.

Lessons to be learned today: Working out is GOOD. and not unpleasant. Also, going out for lunch can lead to interesting things.

A non-techy post

By , 2009-12-15 01:08

Lately my blog has been essentially a pell-mell repository of random procedures and other technology tidbits. The reason for this is that lately, work has been quite busy and the social life has kinda been on the down-low. I did accomplish some pretty cool things though.

Last Monday I got to meet up with some friends for the first time in a little while. It was a really nice “chill” night; we watched some YouTube and I was coerced into trying some shisha and mint tea. I couldn’t fall asleep until quite late, so the next day at work I was quite tired, but I have no regrets.

Anyway Christmas is fast approaching. It’s strange, it didn’t really register in my mind without the usual exam period stress. In any case I am now quite aware of it and am both stressed and excited. The holidays will be a welcome break after these long months of work and an opportunity to meet up with friends and family! On the other hand, this year is the first year where I have a real job so I feel like I should be buying some slightly bigger gifts… and I have no idea what to get for anyone.

A nice little thing this year is that our little church will finally be getting proper church benches in time for Christmas. Should be interesting to see the chapel’s new, more permanent look.

Winter, however, is a different story. Last week we got our first snow of the year in Toronto, and winter seemed to have arrived in full force. The rest of the week was quite frigid, requiring gloves and hats and scarves. This week so far seems pretty mild though. Gotta love climate change.

Today I also finally started working out at lunch again, after much encouragement by some colleagues. It feels great to have gotten back into it, although my arms are kind of tired.

Well, now it’s getting late and I’m losing track of my ideas. So I guess it’s time for bed.

First snow of the year in TO

By , 2009-12-09 21:40

Today was the first snowstorm of winter 2009/2010. Made for a fun drive to work… Apparently the City of Toronto figured there was no point in sending out snowplows.

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