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I did not Think it was Possible to Hate a Currency

Filed under: General — 19day @ 20:55:15

I hate the Euro, I really hate it. Basically because I can’t see to get it anywhere, at least not in quantities or denomations that are of any use. This is turning out to be the hardest part of my trip to Greece (so far anyway, I have a feeling things are just warming up)

A couple of days ago I head to my local TD at Yonge and Eglinton, not small but not large, hoping they have Euros. I ask for 800 Euros, turns out they only have 600, mostly contained within a single 500 euro bill. I tell them no thanks.

I go to the mall near me since it has a Marlin Travel, which is the same place Alicia got her money, by name – not location. That was equally pointless since it turns out not all of then change money, and my location didn’t.

Fine, I threw up my hands and said that I would just go to the Marlin Travel location at Fairview, the one she went to. I check online and it said it was open until 9.

So tonight I get a ride there with a coworker who’s heading in that direction, and head to Marlin Travel. I see the currency converter section, and it also had a big “Fuck You” sign, in the form of a Closed sign. Turns out that although the main office is open to 9, that thing isn’t. Of course, Alicia warned me of that too, but I figured at 7 it would still be open. Nope, missed it by an hour.

So I head to the TD that’s in Fairview, one last stab. I wait in the rather long line for around 15 minutes, and then wait at the teller desk for at least another 15 while they wait for some time lock to open for them to get at the money. I don’t recall that shit happening when I was at my local TD. Anyway, they said they had over two thousand Euros, so I said I wanted 800. Then about halfway through my wait they said some of it had been put aside for others.. you know, people who didn’t haul their ass in to ask in person. When they come back, all they have is a 500 bill, a couple 100 bills, and two 50’s. I didn’t want anything bigger than a 50, considering you can barely break $50 canadian here anymore. The bank even has a big goddamn advertising poster about how they convert currency, way to rub it in. I give up and head to the subway.

Ah, and the TTC re-enters my blog once more. I saw on a TV screen while waiting at the bank that something had gone awry and that the Yonge subway line between Lawrence and Bloor was down. And true to their word, it was. I got off at Lawrence and walked the rest of the way home. It wasn’t as far as I thought, 2km, which is only a third of the distance from my place to the office, and I walked that once (though it nearly killed me). The walk tonight wasn’t great though, I’m quite badly out of shape, and with any luck this greece trip will finish me off. Assuming I have any money on hand to pay for the day trips.

Life would be so much easier if all nations just learned to stop worrying and love the loonie.

I phoned ahead on friday to the booth alicia used, and confirmed they were open on saturday, and that they had the money in useful denominations. They did, and put a hold on it for me. I went in to pick it up, turns out they need photo id for some reason, made even stranger because they only seem to accept debit. Any security concerns they might have surely would apply to the rest of the known world, no? Anyway, failed again, as the amount of the charge was higher than my debit limit, which surprised me since I thought I had already purchased stuff in excess of the amount. So I went up to the same TD that foiled me before, and they increased the limit, went back to the booth and after 5 minutes of them taking down all my information for the still as yet unknown security reasons, I finally got me euros.

Flight is tomorrow. Greece or bust.

Is that a bad omen, I don’t know.


We Do What Must Because We Can

Filed under: General — 19day @ 21:58:51

I watched a walkthrough for Portal, and it’s pretty funny and I have a desire to buy the game now. But what takes the.. er, cake, is the ending credits, where the AI computer system that has guided and alternately taunted you, with promises of cake, throughout the game sings to you. The lyrics are gold, but are a bit of a spoiler, so don’t watch unless you don’t care.

My favorite part has to be:
Now these points of data
make a beautiful line,
and we’re out of beta,
we’re releasing on time

(just cuz it sounds like work :P )



Filed under: General — 19day @ 21:38:00

The news now is all about what happened in 2001. I don’t have much to say about it, other than feeling that it’s a bit overblown. I mean, terrible things have happened in the world before, at the time, and since, many of which killed far far more people. Have people marked the anniversary of the Tsunami, will they of the chinese earthquakes? It seems that things only matter if they happen in the states. Or maybe their media is simply more effective at putting the headlines out, I don’t know. Maybe it would be different for me if it has been Canada attacked, but right now it seems that people (outside of those directly affected) are being far too emotional about something that really didn’t hurt them too badly (in the scheme of things). If I were living there right now, I’d probably be sobbing over the political situation.


I Simply Adore Children but I Could Never Eat a Whole One

Filed under: General — 19day @ 20:51:19

Last saturday a few of us helped out Laura at a community event in Scarborough, which isn’t my community, but whatever, it should at least get me out of a couple seconds of purgatory. Alicia, AJ and I were auxillary volunteers at the 1st annual Dorset fair, which had community information tables, food, contests, etc. We helped set up a table across from the Clamydia lady (at least, she was the lady who had to stand next to a large banner about the STI). She said at least we didn’t have to stand next to it ourselves.

We got assigned to help out at the children’s games area, which consisted of a few hastily constructed carnival-like games such as Ring Toss, table bowling, and knocking tin cans down with beanbags. Most of the games were incredibly easy, which made distribution of the prizes somewhat difficult. We simply didn’t have enough of them, I wish we had some dinkier prizes to give out, but we had relatively big ones. I manned the tin can knockdown table, Alicia took the ring toss, and AJ took bowling. Later in the afternoon, we got more prizes, and Alicia had a big ball we she saved as the prize for getting all three rings on the pegs, which was difficult (I wasn’t able to get a single ring on a peg when I casually gave the game a go). There was this one boy who tried again and again, but maxed out at two rings on pegs, but left after a while. A little shy girl who had been around went to play. I recognized her as she had been at my game, she never spoke, usually looked down and seemed a little scared actually. Anyway, she played the ring toss game, and amazingly got the 3 rings on pegs. Alicia asked her if she wanted the grand prize, the big ball, and the little girl replied with her shy slow nod. Alicia gave her the winnings, and the little girl immediately shot off, skipping, across the park with her big colourful ball as happy as could be. It was truly an adorable sight.

After the event ended I hung out at Alicia’s place and was utterly destroyed playing Rayman, Mario Kart and Wii Sports. I’m quite aweful at multiplayer games, that’s expected, but not usually at this level. Reminds me of playing Call of Duty 4 with coworkers, it’s laughable. Anyway, after an evening of having my Mii’s ass kicked, dinner and Golden Girls, I went home at around 11pm via the TTC.

I really dislike the TTC, both the service, and just the fact that I’m in close quarters with so many people, some of them quite obnoxious. The way home was okay because it was later, but the trip to Lawrence East station was reasonably irritating, mostly because of the RT line, so many people in those dinky cars, and I wrestled to stay near the door on boarding since I knew I was getting off at the very next station. And now I’ve read that the Sheppard line is effectively closing down at 10pm each night due to maintenance work, not unlike the early closures on the top of the Yonge line which I need to get back from Alicia’s most times. I mean, the subway normally closed at 2am which I felt was kind of crappy, but now that northern section closes a few hours earlier except for saturday. And now sheppard is screwed up for a bit (I don’t use it much, but still). It sort of annoys me because I have a Metropass. So shouldn’t the price go down? Well, you might say that it just gives you unlimited access to the services as they exist, but is no guarantee of service at all. So I guess the TTC should just run during rush hour or something, scale it right back. They also got rid of the free parking incentive that was part of the Metropass (which I didn’t need), but the point is, TTC claims that it was a free aspect of the pass…. but honestly, what’s the difference between a service that’s price is baked into the card, or comes free with it? Seems they will go with the latter interpretation when they want to cut it off, so that they don’t need to lower the price of the card itself. Might as well do that with every aspect, and just charge us for the card, and also pay fare for using the bus during rush hour… the possibilities are endless. Hell, the price should have gone down anyway when those taxes were passed… when it was thought that they wouldn’t, TTC threatened to raise fares, metropass included, and shut down the Sheppard line. Well, they didn’t shut it down, but they did raise the fare, and even said that if the taxes were passed, the price would stay up. At least they were truthful there. So as prices increase, services decrease. Sounds like the TTC to me.

3 weeks to Greece

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