100102 small discoveries
1 As you probably know, my Xmas Eve and Xmas weren't special. Same for New Year's Eve. In an effort to break the pattern, I went out for dinner New Year's Day.
2 I didn't know where I was going, nor what I would do. In fact, my decision to go downtown happened when the Bathurst 7 bus just stayed put at the stop. I normally take the Sheppard West 84 (eastbound) toward Sheppard Stn, and continue east to where I live. But the bus just stayed put. So I started running toward it. Of course, that was when it decided to start moving, but it picked me up in the middle of the intersection.
3 The bus driver was as eager to talk as I was. It must be a Canadian custom to talk about the cold weather. I mentioned that when I was in Thunder Bay, we had a few cold days each winter then the temperature dropped to -40C (I think that's also -40F). On such cold days, the news would tell families how long someone could be outside unprotected. At -40, they said "ten seconds". Ten Whole Seconds? But it's not a joke. When it's that cold, it actually feels nice, in a crisp way. The sun is probably out. There is a light breeze. And when you smell the crisp outside air, you notice that your nostrils freeze together, and your eyes water in a new way. Children get hurt playing, even though they're dressed up. A missing glove or hat could cause a frozen ear or a frost bitten finger.
4 It was this kind of thing we started talking about along the way. He noticed that most towns have bored people who are only interested in drinking. He asked if this was the case up north (in Thunder Bay). I told him it was like Scarborough- that it was actually the major centre for education and government for Ontario's northern towns and communities. He just paused, and waited for me. "yes, there are a lot of people who just drink. I used to joke that they had 20,000 sober people, and 100,000 drinkers. We, the 20,000 -- we would meet over and over at cultural events. ..."
5 In no time at all, I found myself at Bloor and Bathurst on the night of New Years Day. It didn't occur to me that there was nothing open. I just happened to land on the little oasis of life, where everything was open!
6 I passed a Thai place, a couple of falafel joints, and then passed a sushi house. Not a favourite, but that got me thinking that some Japanese food would qwell my isolated feelings for this season. I looked across the street and saw it: Mariko.
7 It's odd. When we go out for Japanese buffet lunch, we think of Katsu. I keep thinking 'we should try Mariko some time.' It is along the Danforth, which is the East leg of the Bloor Street strip. There is a Mariko there as well. So when I saw it, I saw their big sign: 10.99 all you can eat, over 70 items. For 14.99 I could get a larger selection, including sashimi. I sat and looked at the two options for a long time. I chose the more costly of the two, and relaxed.
8 I filled in the choices on a blue menu slip. While it is an All You Can Eat place, they remind you that they charge for wasted food. And for stolen and hidden food. They suggest ordering conservatively and getting more later on.
9 I ordered quite a bit. But I was entirely suprised by the turnaround speed. I got soup and salad in less than a minute. I got the sushi and sashimi in about 2 minutes, and I got the hot food items 3 minutes after that. It was faster service than I usually get at McD.
10 I managed getting to know the people sitting near to me. I got to know one couple by asking my waitress for some soy sauce. There was a bottle on the table she was clearing, but didn't understand me for some reason. When the couple noticed, they just gave me theirs; they were having ice cream at the time.
11 There was another couple in the same table after that. They were French speaking. He was from Schenectady or Albany, she was from Paris. They were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. We started talking; I can't remember how we started. We got into computers. The lady works at Reboot Canada, a nonprofit that recycles unwanted old computers for use by others, often in poor countries far away. We talked about phones; they got their first cell phone a few days ago. We talked about phones and cellphone memory. I showed them the chips I carry around in my wallet. I recalled a time when I would have been happy to have a 4 gigabyte hard drive because they were unavailable or so expensive, and now I carry around a pocket full of them. And some of them are Micro SD, making them even smaller.
12 Which leads me to my topic today: Small Discoveries.
13 These small SD cards and smaller Micro SD cards get fried easily. The discovery is that you can wreck the SD adaptor sleeve for a Micro SD card. I thought I had 3 bad chips. What I have are 3 bad Micro SD sleeves, with 3 perfectly working Micro SD chips.
14 The project for these memories? That varies. Tonight I've been trying to put a reasonable portable Linux onto one of them. Something I can just plug into someone's sick computer, and let it start up. Then I can fix the bad files using the portable Unix "disk" or SD card.
15 So far I've found one from slitaz.org that looks promising. I'm also trying to get one of the ubuntu netbook remix to boot up for me. Oh, maybe I'll spend time on EBCD, the emergency boot CD, and put that onto an SD card (or Chip as I call them).
tell Dave to do this more often