It feels like forever, but it was probably 2018 that the roads through Kennedy Station were closed to dig the huge hole for the Eglinton Crosstown. So for all that time, I’ve been braving the deadly intersection at Kennedy and Eglinton to get back home from my daily bike ride.
But as of late last week, the roads reopened and I’ve been enjoying the wheee! instead of constant fear of dying. There’s still some work needed, so it’s not all sunbeams and cucumbers:
there’s still a misplaced Buses Only sign eastbound on North Service Road. Since this is countermanded by bike and taxi signs on South Service Road continuing the same way, it’s clearly a mistake
Transway Crescent is in a horrible state, with nearly six years of heavy construction traffic turning the surface into a knobbly mess. This can, and must, be fixed
Perhaps most worrying is permanent signs that suggest the sidewalks will be designated shared-use. They’re far too narrow for that, and have none of the necessary safe entry/exit points. As I’m a road user, the road I will use
You still (as before) have to mix it with buses. Bus drivers are professionals, though, and part of the solution.
I accidentally dropped and broke my car mp3 player, so had to come up with another music solution. I caved and bought an iTrip for my iPod Nano. It sounds pretty good.
What’s good about it is that it allows you to charge your iPod from a standard USB Mini-B. What’s not so good is that it doesn’t have full USB pass-through, so you can’t sync your iPod, and have to stick with that stupid dock cable.
(and don’t get me started on the really annoying connector on my work cell phone …)
It plays MP3s from SD card, USB stick, or an line level source.
Here’s what’s not so good:
Playback quality is limited to finding an open FM frequency, which is hard in the GTA
The transmitter is not very powerful, so nearby vehicles can swamp your signal (or, if you want to call it a feature, it’s a “random positional mashup”)
The phone mic is a tiny port on the unit, so sometimes the caller can’t hear you too well
You need to have your radio on to answer your phone
The USB port doesn’t provide enough charging current for a phone or GPS
The remote isn’t very good
Voice dialling doesn’t seem to work with my Blackberry
The MP3 playback function usually remembers where you were when you start the car, but sometimes forgets, and needs the card ejected and reinserted
It doesn’t know about ID3 tags
Weirdest of all, it plays back files in the strict order they were written to the directory – not ordered by file name. It seems that, under Microsoft operating systems, files are copied in name order, but under Unix, they are (winging it here) copied by inode. Using tar on a Mac or Linux is the way to go, as it writes in name order.
The Kross S-150 Manual (scanned PDF) is pretty terse, and has been of limited use to me. For all its faults, it’s kind of useful, but if I had a USB-capable stereo, I wouldn’t need this.
Our route down from Kansas City was longer than I thought; place not blind trust in GPS routing, especially when you’re close to the edge of the maps you’ve uploaded. Due to one wrong turn on my part, we ended up in Overland Park, KS — rather than being on Hwy 71 all the way south. In future, I shall upload all the maps I need, plus all the states/provinces surrounding, so you don’t get that terra incognita/here be dragons feeling of falling off the edge of your wee scrolly map.