Monthly Archives: January 2006

Manta Montage and a revue

Sad day for me, I've put my Manta Montage on eBay.

Other than that, let me quickly catch-up — Badur and I have spent far too much time in the last week over at the BME co-lo. Here's a photo of our server room neighbors (they do email solutions I think)… Their setup is much, much more impressive than ours so I'm posting a picture of it instead of ours. I don't know if that's a violation of the intense security at the facility… I hope not!

We went there because of issues with one of BME's (as in drives. You may have noticed though that a while after BME went offline, IAM (as in went offline also. In the left photo below you can see a recreation of the explanation — instead of cycling the power on the main site, I accidentally recycled it on IAM — oops! And then it had to do a drive check on reboot because of the unexpected death (no errors), so it took a few hours to come back… Sorry…

I had the sense to bring a book the second time — Adventures from the Technology Underground, all about rail guns, pumpkin launchers, Tesla coils, and so on. It's a lot of neat stuff and a fun read that luckily took pretty much exactly the amount of time to consume cover-to-cover in the time I was there. Thanks to the wishlist elf who sent it my way along with another fun book.

Err, I look kind of morose in that picture? Anyway, today I went down the street to Yasi's Place with Blair where Saira was spinning records (lots of dub and reggae). It's fun getting to go out with people that I don't really know (I'm talking about Saira's friends, not Blair of course) again after a long time of seeing just the same people over and over and over (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Yeah, that was a dull entry with uninspired writing. Putting the Manta on eBay was a little emotionally draining… I never really got to enjoy it as much as I'd have liked to; I wish it was easier to move unusual cars into Canada.

Oh, and I also got to see Orbax and make plans for the (delayed) release of his book and DVD.

In roughly reverse order

Last night I had a nice Ethiopian food supper at Lalibela with Blair and Ryan (who had the sense to order Bedele which I'd not had before). My favorite thing about being in a big city is access to food and people of all kinds and cultures.

Just before dinner yesterday I signed off on my Toronto lease and payed my first and last and all that… So now I have a nice big four bedroom house a few blocks up Dundas West from Bloor on a quiet little side-street. It's got indoor parking, a nice finished basement, and a big open concept kitching-dining-living room. I have to head over in the next day or two to our storage space and take inventory of what I have and what I don't, get cable ordered, and so on.

As a point of trivia, my agent also had paperwork from another house… on Larratt Lane (and it's not a common name). I had no idea there was a street with that name here. Unfortunately the car was too dark at the time to take a clear picture.

The agent is actually also Saira's mother. So if you're looking for a place (to buy, not to rent) in Toronto, write Saira. And here's Saira's dog Milo (no relation), who keeps Phil company during the day:

Finally, thanks to the wishlist elf who sent me Mark's latest book The World's Worst. It's a quick and fun read that I got through cover-to-cover on yesterday's TTC rides.

Anyway, I think I'm doing some contingency programming today among other things.

I almost forgot…

Since I probably can't get my Manta Montage into Canada (quirky import laws on this sort of car), I'm going to have to sell it… It's running well and at this point the linkage is fixed. With a touch of body work and a new interior this is a show winning car. It's not a VW kit — this is a custom tube chassis with a 350 V8 mated to a Porsche 911 transmission. It should easily do 250 kph.

The car is currently plated in Illinois, and should be street legal in every state in the USA. I'll probably put it on eBay in the next day or two (very sad), but I first wanted to give anyone reading this on IAM or Zentastic the opportunity to take it. I'd consider letting it go for as little as $13k US (not negotiable). Depending on where you're located, shipping could be arranged.

If you are interested message or write me now; include any questions you have, your location, and your phone number please.

Credit and references?

Well, right now my references are being checked for the house, and I'm told it's “99.9%” confirmed… although I've seen 0.1% probabilities come true before, so my fingers are not yet fully uncrossed. Assuming it's a go I'll have to head over to the bank tomorrow and get my first and last and all that, go get renter's insurance, and get something on the road to drive.

I think I may have to sell my Manta Montage which is very sad… There's a good chance that it can't be imported into Canada*, and the total cost of upgrading the IAM server and drive array is going to be between $17,000 and $25,000**. Since I basically run the site for free (most members are at least partially free, and at $0.05 a day for those that aren't, it's not really a break-even project financially), I'm going to have to come up with that money from somewhere. It will be a depressing day for me, but, as in other matters where I have no real choice in the matter, I'll try and make the best of it.

Much appreciated blessings: Thank doggess for my wishlist. I just got the books above from a friend… So if I can't find anyone that's willing to rent a house to me, I'll have help getting through the darkness, and if I don't get through I'll know how to make rope from straw to hang myself (note to worriers: joke). Seriously though, I've missed not having shelves full of books around me and am thrilled about having a delivery address where half the packages don't arrive for a variety of reasons!

* To import an American car into Canada, it has to be a minimum of 20 or 25 years old (or something like that). With a custom car like this, it's impossible to legally prove the age of the car (because they count the completion date, not the date on the paperwork or the date of manufacture of the components) and thus they can't normally be imported.

** Large 15,000rpm Ultra320 SCSI drives for the array add up fast!


I've been eating breakfast lately at a little diner at the end of the block called “Yasi's Place” (it's much cheaper than the review implies). I don't think I quite make the “whole wheat hipster” level though… You may remember how (falsely) nervous I was last year going to because even among people who in theory I agree with, I often feel like an outsider (nope). On the subway or bus, people would rather stand than sit next to me… I guess I exude some sort of “weird vibe” (or maybe it's a toxic smell that I'm unaware of, ha — please, someone tell me if it is).

I've discovered that my cellphone camera does not take decent pictures of food. The above is a delicious baked avocado sandwhich on cornbread with potatos (other than a little cheddar it's vegan). I don't think it looks very appetizing in the picture but it really is. Honest!

Quote of the day, c/o Phil:

Phil: "Is it too late to get the all day breakfast?"

Waitress: "No, we serve that all day."

In his defense, Phil was actually asking whether he got free coffee with it (the menu stated that the caffeinated offer ended at 11AM, which is about when we got there); the question just came out wrong. It's little things like being able to go out to a nice little diner/cafe for breakfast that I love about being back in the city (not that taco stand lunches don't have their charm to) — and I also think of .

Anyway, I'm working on some video stuff both for the site and for blogging later today… By the end of the day I'll hear whether the nice house up the street is mine to move into or not (it's been accepted but may be contingent on a credit check still). It will be very nice to actually set up a proper office. This is the first place in a long time that I've had full control over setting up, so I'm going to try and both get what I want out of it and do a nice job in the process. I'll tell you that I'm very much looking forward to being able to hang art again, and set up a stereo system.

Time now to swap mice with Phil so I can finish off Rachel's business card…