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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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This week...

Tuesday my brother and I saw Kurosawa's Stray Dog at Cinematheque. Toshiro Mufune is a young detective who has his gun stolen and is determined to track it down, all the more so when it falls into the hands of a petty criminal who steady becomes less petty. There's a scene involving a phone booth, a crying child, pouring rain, and a misunderstanding that was Hitchcockian in its ability to ratchet up the suspense.

Small spoilers under the cut.

Throughout the film Mifune wonders if the guy he's looking for would have been a criminal at all if not for circumstances (i.e. the post war situation) and some bad luck. In the final scene his boss (who has been a very sympathetic character) tells him not to worry, in a few years he'll stop worrying about stuff like this and he'll be slinging people in jail without a second thought. I'm really unsure if the audience was supposed to take this as a good or bad thing.

While we were in the movie the great deluge everyone was talking about the next day happened. When we came out I said "Looks like there's been some rain", and I had no idea anything out of the ordinary had happened till CBC Radio woke me up next morning.

Wednesday I got together with Sandra and Brett for dinner at their place, which is always great. They've been having a problem with feral cats pooping in their back yard, so Brett had just gotten this motion activated water gun you stake in your yard, and it spray anything that walks by. We discussed the feasibility of hooking it up to a propane tank instead and turning it into a flame-thrower.

Yesterday morning I took off work to meet with the Toronto Congress Center, Doubletree Hotel, and Renaissance Hotel to sign contracts for Anime North for the next three years. It's weird signing papers with the date "2011" on them, that number really feels like The Future. After work I got on the bike and headed out east, now that the biking club showed me how to get out there without risking my life too much. From my place is took me about an hour and a half to get out to where the Waterfront Trail officially begins again, and your biking thru quiet leafy neighbourhoods or actually along the lakeshore. It's great to actually see some new sights on my bike. My plan was to go east till about 9 PM and take the GO train back. I got out past the Rouge Hill GO station to get a good view of the Pickering reactor, but decided my timing to go all the way to Pickering was going to be too tight as I wasn't sure how easy it was going to be to actually get into the station (my map seemed to imply I'd have to cross the 401 somehow). So I turned back to Rouge Hill and got the train to Exhibition, which took 40 minutes, rather longer than I thought, especially as I hadn't had my dinner yet. But it was a great ride and I'm now up to 910 kn for the year to date.

When I got home I checked the Google Maps satellite view, and found it wouldn't have been any problem for me to get into the Pickering GO station, so I'll file that away for next time.

Next week I start a project with MDA again, the people who used to be Spar Aerospace. I didn't some work for them about two years ago on the Space Shuttle Inspection Boom, and I'll be working for 6-8 weeks on the FE model of the Power-Data Grapple Fixture on the space station. Only problem is I'll have to haul my butt all the way up to Brampton at least half the time, which involved riding the TTC to Islington, taking the Mississauga Transit bus to Westwood Mall, and taking a Brampton bus the rest of the way, which is a major pain. But I'll survive.

Off now to Polaris for the weekend!

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Do they let bikes on GO trains now? That would've been a great boon to me back when I lived in Oakville.

You can bring bikes on during non-rush hour times during the week, and anytime on the weekends.

Andrew has an anecdote to the effect that while he loves cats, an orange slushy poured over the head can be very effective in dissuading them from certain behaviours (like sexually harassing his calico).

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