Live-blogging the TTC Commission meeting

I’m going to be live-blogging the Toronto Transit Commission meeting happening today (March 24) at 1pm.

I’ve been on a campaign to get someone… anyone … to pay attention to the fact that a project with clear customer service benefits and has already been through a competitive tender is just sitting there about to get cancelled.

Update: I ran out of battery in the 2nd hour of the meeting. Next time I’ll be better prepared.

Summary: The electronic initiatives was a good-news update. The e-commerce project remains “on hold” until June.

TTC Commission Meeting

Cruising on Holland America Line is a huge pain in the ass

I’m trying to put together a cruise for my mother and I. She’s 80, and not the most athletic, and this is kind of a special treat, so I’m trying to arrange a nice room with an easy itinerary.

I’ve chosen to cruise on Holland America Line because that is the line my parents took to come to Canada – I think in 1953?

The cruise route we’re doing is a one-way northbound out of Vancouver, going up to Anchorage, Alaska.

If you want a room with a balcony for your mother to sit on, it turns out that Holland America refuses to just give you what you want, and forces you to take decisions you’re not interested in.

You can:

  1. Veranda rooms are only available to people who choose to take a cruise tour, that is a cruise followed by a tour. If you want to do an independent car rental to go look at the things you’re interested in, forget it – Holland America wants to drag you all over the state on a tour bus.
  2. If you don’t want to do that, you could take a non-veranda room, and put your name on a waiting list, and pay for an upgrade if a room becomes available. Then you are not forced to take the tour.

At some point before the cruise departs the rooms are taken off of this crappy forced-choice arrangement and you can just get a room with an open-air view.

This set of forced choices doesn’t end there. To cruise, you have to fly, and if you want to fly on flights Holland America arranges for you, you won’t find out which airline, and which schedule, you’re going to be on. So you might get a respectable Air Canada/Westjet flight in the afternoon, or a 2am redeye on a cramped Air Transat.

What do you suppose the chance is I’ll take my mother to an airport at 3am? And how happy would I be giving Air Transat my money, something I resolve to never do after they fucked me in Paris? Screw you, Holland America.

Bitten by bugs

So there I was, thinking that WordPress was really the most amazing piece of software. I was well and truly flying: I had uploaded 14 images, it had properly resized them.  I was writing a blog post including a number of styles, image treatments, and so forth, all in valid XHTML.

If this had been Drupal I would have been tearing my hair out 3 minutes in,  cursing that system’s developers and everyone who ever thought it was any good. But WordPress? Schlick schtuff: wow how I was  having fun.  I’d forgotten web publishing can be like this.  Whee! Look out world, here comes blogger Steeeeeeeeeeeve with his TITLE attribute set! Banzai!

Then my browser crashed.

Web browsers are such a blessing, and such a curse.  I don’t know if the Internet would be better off without them.

Temporary hockey fan

I don’t know how this happened, but I have most certainly become a hockey fan. I am sure it will be all over by Sunday, because if ever there was a dubious scam, it’s “professional” hockey.

My chosen venue is the Dizzy on Roncesvalles, the preferred hangout for the neighbourhood’s rowdy hosers.  Tip to the wise: if your girlfriend isn’t into hockey do not bring them along. You’ll both have a crappy time; compare and contrast:

Hockey fans, hockey haters