the awfully nice people on the 95 bus

This is a small posting of thanks to the folks on the OCTranspo 95 Orleans bus who put up with my cluelessness and large luggage on the very busy rush hour transit. I got to Ottawa station quicker than any taxi, and for only $3. I’m a fairly seasoned TTC rider, and you wouldn’t see that kind of friendliness at this time of day in Toronto.

I’m still waiting

One of the side effects of Catherine’s Library Quest is that she digs through the sale books. She’s found a library getting rid of National Geographics for 25¢. September 1969’s issue, published when I was less than a season old, has a great and hilariously dated article The Coming Revolution in Transportation. It’s all hovercraft and personal transport pods (though none less than the Federal Highways Administration’s The Rambler cautions don’t blame the future when we read this article).

My favourite prognosis from the article is this one, on electric cars:

Electric cars should be common within a decade. They will be “pure” electrics, if batteries become lighter, more powerful, and longer lasting; otherwise, “dual-mode” vehicles—battery-powered in town but propelled by gasoline engines on cross-country trips.

It took just a little longer than this, and it sure wasn’t GM who brought the first ones to market, despite this picture of a hybrid Opel from 1969:

Hybrid Opel car from 1969 - National Geographic

Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid – 2008 Green Car of the Year … in parsley!

I don’t believe this … Green Car .com has named the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid 2008 Green Car of the Year [archive link]. This gargantuan obesemobile has a 6 litre engine which gets a dismal 21 mpg (about 11 l/100 km in real money). But it’s okay, because it’s a hybrid! Well, bravo Chevrolet! Your greed and stupidity is killing us all.


I had assumed that an admin here at work liked obscure Shakespeare plays when they called our server cressida. But I found the real reason when I noticed that the Richmond server is called rav4

common as muck

Around Toronto today, I saw three Lamborghinis and five Ferraris. I think I saw fewer SmartCars, so as usual, smarts are in shorter supply than muscle.

no hybrids for canada

I was looking to perhaps rent a hybrid for a longish business trip. My company’s preferred supplier, National, doesn’t do them in Canada, but does in the US:

no hybrids for canada

Why do they get them, and we don’t? Don’t say there’s no demand; I‘d rent one …


  • 4½ days driving
  • 5000 km
  • 300l of petrol
  • 4 provinces (ON, QC, NB, PE)
  • 6 states (ME, NE, MA, CT, NY, PA, OH)

In other words, we’re back from our holidays.

viva bus!

I’m on a Viva bus heading south from Glenn & Mollie‘s BBQ in Aurora. The vanHool bendybus is fast and comfortable, and I like the stops with the next bus time display. Wish we had this service in Scarborough.


There was a full-on police manhunt in our neighbourhood last night. Between about 3:30-4am, a police car vroomed and screeched round the streets with its lights off. Maybe it was a manhunt, or maybe they just had their Starsky & Hutch on.

oh no, wait, this is even more moronic

I was mildly incensed to see an ad truck tootling about downtown. What was even worse was that it advertised, a site purporting to help individuals reduce their carbon footprint.

Get this: the founding sponsor of the site is VisionAdz, a company whose sole purpose is to have ad trucks tootling about downtown, polluting our air and my eyes.

Bill Hicks was right about advertising types.

um, no …

This is really part of a route suggested by Google Maps:


6. Take the exit onto HWY-402 W toward Sarnia (102 km)
7. Make a U-turn (0.3 km)

It should be noted that the 402 is a large highway, and u-turns are not exactly recommended.

penticentenary (if that’s the right word)

I’ve been driving for 20 years. Seems a long time since I took that Mini Metro (which stank of Insignia aftershave – the instructor used it to clean the glass) from the BSM depot in
Pollokshields and puttered around the south side.

No speeding tickets, no parking tickets, and only one insurance claim. The insurers must be making a fortune from me.

a bit better than before

I just ran the fuel numbers for our recent grand trip to Missouri. For 4380km in a Honda Civic DX, we used about 292 litres of fuel. That works out to be 6.7l/100km (or 42.3 / 35.3 UK / US mpg). That’s not quite as good as I’d hoped; I’ll put it down to driving a little fast on very chunky snow tyres.

At least it’s better than last time