Monday, October 30, 2006


I take local transit quite a bit to get around since I don't have a car and don't usually go to far from home. Most of the time it's convenient and relatively inexpensive (compared to owning a car), I probably spend about $20-30 a week on transport which is probably less than what most drivers spend on gas alone in a single week.

In Toronto there is a constant discussion about transit and traffic and what to do about it since things seems to been going from bad to worse. The problem is pretty simple, Toronto is a city that continues to grow at a quick pace and transportation isn't growing fast enough to match it. I recently read that Toronto (just 416 area, not the suburbs) will add half a million people in the next 5-7 years but we have no long-term (heck, no short term) plan to improve transportation. At rush hour you can often watch 2-3 streetcars go by that are so packed you can't get in them and it's not uncommon for the same to happen with trains. The system is so packed that you can't imagine where all these new people will go, they certainly won't be driving since that's even a worse problem.

So what's the fix? I certainly don't know but I'd imagine it would take a politician with some leadership and big balls to do something that will initially seem unpopular (tolls anyone!) but probably help way more than it hurts.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I've been playing this game called Hattrick since the middle of the summer. Liisa's cousin was nice enough to get me addicted to it as I had never heard of it but it is developed in Sweden and is apparently a big deal there. It's essentially a soccer simulation game that requires you to build a team, train players and play games to move up in your league. It's fairly complex and a very long game, it usually takes 3-4 "seasons" to improve enough to promote divisions (each season lasts about 3 months) and requires a lot of patience and fine tweaking. It's set up a bit like real soccer, you join your countries conference and play in your local league. There are international games, Cups and even a World Cup where the "best" managers play each countries best players against each other.

Since it's a passive simulation game you don't really need to do much to keep it going, usually logging in 3-4 times a week for 15 minutes to set your lineup, see a players training status, manage your team finances, etc is enough to manage the game so it's easy to from work once and awhile. The most active part of the game is during games where a game recap is updated every 5-10 minutes with some sort of event (scoring chance, injury, card, goal, etc).

The game has about 1 million players but is constantly adding players, there's even been a rumor recently that Fox may by the site (which could mess it up). If you're looking for something to waste a bit of time on during the work day and like these types of online simulations check it out at

Quick Update

I left Eesti 2 months ago but it seems like it's been only a couple of days. Things over here have been really busy for the most part but life is settling down a little bit now. Liisa and I have moved into our apartment and finally gotten settled in. Paul and Katherine went to Africa, got engaged and now are back, they had a little engagement party last week which was fun. I'll have a lot more to say in the near future, I'm starting to feel the creative juices flowing again to help me write down whats going on around here.