Buying a Car - Manual Transmission Loss Leaders Still Around in 2018

Despite the rapid disappearance of manual transmission vehicles, it appears that many automakers have decided to keep a loss leader in their stables. And as it usually goes for manual transmission loss leaders, some are sticking around on dealer lots up to a year later presenting an opportunity to negotiate some great deals on top of the cash incentives already offered. For instance, at the time of writing there is a single 2017 Hyundai Elantra (Archive) still sitting around, with about $3,500 in incentives plus a mysterious $1,000 incentive called loyalty service rebate.

Modern SUV Design and Shrinking Sightlines

Modern SUVs look pretty sharp and sleek, don’t you think? They’re a far cry from the boxy and boring SUVs of old - your parents’ or your grandparents’ station wagon. Automakers have discovered that people like driving cool cars (who’d have thought!?) and with SUVs and pickups collectively earning about two thirds of 2017 volume of car sales, it’s no wonder why automakers have been paying attention to SUVs for as long as they have.

Applying for US Credit Cards as a Canadian

I do not endorse applying for an ITIN or using it to apply for and use US credit cards. I only organize the information here for my own interest and do not guarantee the accuracy or legality of any of the steps taken. There is a very, very long thread on RedFlagDeals full of people discussing how you can apply for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) and use that number to apply for a US Credit Card whenever you’re asked to provide an SSN.

Flying China Eastern

China Eastern is an airline based out of mainland China with its primary hub in Shanghai. China Eastern operates direct flights from Toronto and Vancouver to Shanghai and can be used to connect to a number of Asian destinations from Canada/US, generally Japan, Korea, China, India and most countries in southeast Asia at an economical price. China Eastern operates a very new Boeing 777 on its Toronto and Vancouver segments, complete with lie-flat business class seats, in-seat tv entertainment (TV, movies, music, usually with hardcoded Chinese subtitles).

Scuba Diving Gear Rundown

We own much of our own gear, because we plan to dive lots and renting is expensive! However, scuba diving is an expensive hobby. Gear is expensive. Flying with gear is expensive. Liveaboards / Dive Cruises are expensive. Here’s what we own, and what we came across during our research. Where I still remember, I’ve also included the dive shop we purchased it from as well as the price.

December 8, 2017 - Flight Day 5!

Yay sitting on planes! (embed mymaps here) Kochi Morning We woke up early and had breakfast at the Ibis hotel’s complementary breakfast. Immediately afterwards, we hailed an auto through Ola and paid 30 rupees for the short ride to Black n White Laundry Services When we arrived at 8:45, the store hadn’t opened yet. We stood outside getting bit by mosquitoes until the owner arrived just before opening at 9am.

November 26, 2017 - Male Day!

Food is so expensive at the Male airport! (embed mymaps here) Novina Hotel We started today late because the WiFi was so slow! Running speedtest, I got somwhere between 3 Mbps to dial-up speeds at a tenth of that. We wanted to book some accommodations in Munnar and/or Kochi before we left, so we tried to do the research and booking, but gave up when every page load took a minute.

November 25, 2017 - Leaving KL!

Another day partially spent sitting on a plane! (embed mymaps here) KL Sentral / Little India We started today late because we did laundry. Behind the KL Sentral Monorel (immediately beside Cozy Hotel) is a new laundromat that wasn’t there last year. At 6 ringgit for the 10kg washer, 8 ringgit for the 14kg washer, 6 ringgit for the first 20 minutes of dryer and 1 ringgit for every 4 minutes thereafter, it was a reasonable price for a laundromat so close to our hotel, rather than the one up the street that we had used last year.

November 21, 2017 - Penang!

Today was definitely a food day. We started the day late by heading to CY Choy Road Hokkien Mee, which was recommended to us. Then we grabbed an Uber (3.29 MYR turned into 4 MYR when no one had change) to go up to Jalan Transfer and try “Roti Canai Transfer Road”, where we unknowingly ordered two dishes of roti canai and two dishes of ayam (chicken). The chicken was not as spicy as we thought it’d be, so we managed to eat it.

November 20, 2017 - Flight Day 2!

Today was a flight day! Yay! Morning in Phuket We had a brief snack, then walked over to the Sirinat National Park. The park checkpoint was unattended, so we walked through until one of the women raking leaves took us back to the checkpoint to pay the admission fee (200 baht for adults). We declined, and walked a short way down a sideroad that I had read about, before realizing it was too hot to follow the detour all the way.

November 9 AND 10, 2017 - Flight Day!

Today was a flight day! All we did was sit on planes! Yay! TTC to Airport (Line 1, Line 2, 192 Rocket) We left late for the airport with very little time to spare, leaving College Station at 1:09 and arriving at 2:19, just an hour and ten minutes before the flight. On the way, we chatted with a friendly operator on Line 2 who had previously worked for Mercedes for 37 years, including 12 years in South Africa before being let go due to restructuring.

Real Hugo Quickstart Guide for the Novice

When I started my road down Hugo, I was quite frustrated - the Hugo guides were difficult to follow and left out lots of details (basic facts, really) that a novice user would need to know. I mean, their Quickstart guide starts with macOS and the Install page is quite a mess. I’m not an expert on Hugo - rather this is me trying to document my findings and hopefully help someone out.

December 27, 2015 - Portland

We spent the day in Portland itself. Due to our late arrival the night previous, we left at 11AM and headed straight to Mt. Tabor. There is lots of free parking on the nearby residential streets and I could feel the Yaris struggling to climb the inclines as we neared the park on Mt. Tabor. The park didn’t have much of a view, but it did involve a lot of uphill climbing.