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About ejp626

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    Dr. Funkenstein

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  • Gender Male
  • Location Toronto

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  1. Region Free DVD players

    I've bought a region-free DVD player (already made region-free) and it worked fine. I also punched in the secret code on a second one and that also worked. Most of the instructions are still floating around in places like Reddit. I'm fairly sure that the sales of DVDs are probably even worse relative to CDs, so this isn't the highest priority of the studios, though they aren't about to abandon the region-locked system. Every so often I consider getting a Blu-Ray player but it is a bit harder to get an all-region player relative to how easy it is to obtain or mod a DVD player.
  2. COVID-19 III: No Politics For Thee

    I suppose (some fraction of) young people were always this stupid and we just hear a lot more about them now with Twitter and TikTok and Youtube, but really this takes the cake... https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/people-in-alabama-are-throwing-covid-19-parties-with-a-payout-when-one-gets-infected-official-1.5007903 "Some young people in Alabama are throwing COVID-19 parties, a disturbing competition where people who have coronavirus attend and the first person to get infected receives a payout, local officials said. The parties are being held in Tuscaloosa, and infected people are urged to attend so others can intentionally contract the virus..."
  3. COVID-19 III: No Politics For Thee

    Our leadership is not looking to bring us back to office yet, but they have spent a lot of time putting down floor markings and such. (On weekends, I go in and then offer "constructive" criticism like telling them all doors into an area are marked one way, so you are literally trapped inside (if you respect markings). It's an evolving thing...) But most of our meeting rooms will only hold 3 people now and the larger ones 6. If you can't have a proper team meeting anyway, what's the point of trying for an in-person meeting if most of the team gets left out? (And while the upper management irks me much of the time, they do take safety seriously. There is no way anyone will be able to sneak in an extra person above what the room is signed for.)
  4. COVID-19 III: No Politics For Thee

    I was able to go inside a used book store and do actual browsing over the weekend (wearing a mask & hand sanitizer, etc.). That was an interesting milestone. I also visited a couple of small art galleries (our major museums are reopening over next few weeks). We've just reopened malls in Toronto and barber shops/beauty salons, though gyms and movie theatres and indoor concerts are all still no-go. I won't go (don't have a car), but one entrepreneur is getting ready to open a drive-in movie theatre in Toronto.
  5. Now reading...

    Wrapped up The Plague only to discover that the university library isn't processing returns after all. Oh well. If I had known I had another month to return it, I probably would have procrastinated some more. Currently a chapter into Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being, which I've meant to read for the longest time. Will also be starting The Night Buffalo by Guillermo Arriaga. Apparently this was made into a movie, though not sure I'll watch that (have to get through the novel first...) After this, most likely I will reread Don Quixote.
  6. How To Money Launder

    If I was going to launder money I'd probably get a bubble tea place.
  7. How To Money Launder

    I don't know how true but there are a bunch of dollar a slice pizza joints in downtown Vancouver and the rumour is most of them are linked to money laundering. Price may have gone up somewhat but still way below what you pay for a slice in Toronto, Chicago, New York, etc.
  8. COVID-19 III: No Politics For Thee

    Some recent studies have suggested 25-30% max of US working population can realistically telecommute (and of course this is more like 80-90% of white collar employment), but too many other things still involve physically being there (construction, farming, resource extraction, most health care jobs, cleaning services, beauty salons, etc.). They are trying to keep most office workers out of downtown Toronto until Sept., so we'll see how this all plays out.
  9. COVID-19 III: No Politics For Thee

    I'm hearing that once returning to work (in indoor locations) most office workers really ought to carry 3 masks and replace throughout the day (particularly after removing to eat lunch) and then wash them all each night. The odds of everyone following this advice are nil, but presumably some people will. I mean given that the masks are really to prevent your droplets from spreading to others, I don't think it matters that much if the mask is reused (though obviously if you haven't washed your hands well, then you increase your odds of catching COVID).
  10. Now reading...

    Subways are (well, were) just incredibly packed in rush hour. When transferring at Bloor-Yonge you can expect to have to wait for three trains to pull in before actually squeezing onto one! Fortunately trains are every 1.5-2 minutes in rush hour, though this is still annoying (and didn't feel safe even pre-COVID). This is driven by huge downtown office growth. Very different from my memories of Toronto in the early 90s.
  11. After all the travails of the first pressing, I was pleasantly surprised to get a shipping notice right away. When it actually arrives (and whether it makes it here by Canada Day) is an open question. (Also, whether I have to pay duty on it or not.)
  12. Now reading...

    I used to live in Brooklyn almost at Coney Island. I always had a seat coming in to work, so often used that for writing (pretty sure I finished a couple of dissertation chapters on the inbound train) but stood all the way going home, so would read then. In Toronto I virtually never get a seat on the bus or train (except for weekends) back when I was still taking transit, so that was generally fine for reading (unless the bus was really crowded).
  13. Now reading...

    I've actually enjoyed it when I've sat down and read (despite it hitting a bit too close to home) but have been very distracted by work creeping into all other aspects of my life (Zoom calls ending at 7:30, etc.) as I do my part in planning to help the recovery up here. The two places I do the most sustained reading (while riding transit or stationary bikes at the gym) are both off limits for time being.
  14. Now reading...

    In queue at the library. Let us know what you think. Thanks. Finally buckling down and finishing Camus's The Plague. Probably will wrap up tonight.
  15. COVID-19 III: No Politics For Thee

    Sounds like some promising news on the vaccine front, though the early signs are that it may not be as effective for seniors. Quite a long road still to go, however. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/23/covid-19-vaccine-may-not-work-for-at-risk-older-people-say-scientists Am pleased that Toronto has just moved into Stage 2 of recovery, so more retail, barbershops, easier access to dentists(!), and probably art galleries and museums opening up. No indoor concerts or theatre yet. For several weeks, Toronto was the last really locked down major metro area in North America, but our metrics have been moving in the right direction. Hopefully the second wave won't be as bad as the experts fear. (Not looking great in the States, but a bit more under control up here.)