Monthly Archives: September 2012

Want to be my neighbour? 154 and 176 Ellerslie Ave

Want to be my neighbour?  Two houses are available atm on our street, one for purchase and one for lease.

154 Ellerslie Ave was just listed yesterday or so.  List price is $1.249 million.  This is the same list price that 221 and 223 went for this time last year, and you can compare that to 201 which was listed at $1.4million this past spring (it has a much deeper lot on the south side of the street (or is this one the few deep lots that goes beside Abbotsford Park?)).  All I know about this location is the previous occupants were smokers, and across the street at 153 Ellerslie they were planning to demolish and build a jumbo giant super-sized place this past summer but that didn’t happen (but expect construction of some sort at that location soon™).

176 Ellerslie Ave is for lease for $3000/month.  Initially the sign put up was ‘For Lease’, then switched to ‘For Sale’ two minutes later, and then the next day corrected again to ‘For Lease’.  The listing agent, Stephen McShane happens to live across the street (and has for 14 years or so) from this listing so he should be able to answer lots of your questions about the neighbourhood.

I was going to include some details about past purchases of these properties for you, but the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation seems to have discontinued their service (as of Sept 11) and I won’t have access to their new AboutMyProperty until the beginning of November.

Want a pop-culture view of the street?  Read Robert J. Sawyer’s Calculating God novel, as the main character lives here too.

Thoughts on whether this post is a bit to ‘creepy’ for the neighbourhood?

Amped for my PulseSensor Amped

I first read about Yuri Gitman and Joel Murphy‘s PulseSensor a few months ago in MAKE Magazine and was intrigued by its simplicity.  Last month, I decided I was going to get one to track my heart rate during my conditioning class at circus and I planned to have it ready for my first class.  Turns out they were all out of stock, and the date for new stock got pushed a couple of times.  MakerShed said they could ship within 1-2 days but I wanted to order direct so they’d get a bigger slice of the order (and I wasn’t sure if the 1-2 days was accurate as I figured they didn’t actually stock it).

I received notification this morning that they had new stock, and it’s a new and improved ‘Amped‘ version (with amplification and noise cancellation circuitry to the hardware) (note: the new version is 25% higher in price).  I’m very pleased that I placed the order 53 minutes after the initial email, and less than 2 hours later it has been shipped.  It’s coming standard USPS (with a shipping cost of 60% of the product price) so hopefully I won’t get dinged with Customs handling and GST (for another 50% of the product price).

I’ll update you when it has arrived and once I’ve hacked together something of use to quantify myself during extreme exercise.  In the mean time, check out Becky Stern‘s ‘Beating Heart Headband

Kitchens of India Curry Paste

My favourite prepared meals lately have involved Kitchens of India Curry Pastes.

Our formerly local Indian restaurant of choice, Cuisine of India, closed down a while ago and we never get downtown anymore for Bombay Palace but we found these little packets of paste a while ago at the grocer and whenever they are in stock, we scoop them up.

Playing at The Toy Box

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Thanks to Playground Studios and Theatre Passe Muraille for a great afternoon yesterday. The kids were “having too much fun to leave”. It’s running at City Hall Rotunda until Saturday, and then will be back for a few days in December (at Theatre Passe Muraille, not City Hall).   Thanks to Fancy Pants Kids for the recommendation.

An interesting observation I made: we were barefoot (as we have been for months now), but instead of getting strange looks from people, instead many people thought that they too should shed their shoes while playing.  Goes to show you what preconceptions can do.

How to use Makey Makey as an Arduino

Our MakeyMakey arrived today (13 days after shipping (we were in the Kickstarter) for those counting) (and thankfully no problems with customs)!  Following the Howto as linked on the back of the board was great for the basic stuff (and I spent more time with the ‘one button games‘ that I should have) but I was immediately drawn to the arduino-ness of the board, but didn’t see anything on the HowTo page.  After digging through the forums and following a few links I’ve deduced the following setups:

  1. If you don’t already have an arduino, download the IDE
  2. Hit up the MakeyMakey Sparkfun page for links to the latest versions of the following.
  3. If you’re on windows, download the driver (presently here) and extract the folder somewhere on your system.  Open up ‘Device Manager’ and find the ‘USB IO’ device that’s unknown (unless of course you didn’t follow the Howto instructions on ignoring the pop-ups during first connection, then  you can just use those links), and click through to it to manually install the driver, and then browse to the place you extracted the ‘driver’ folder.
  4. Download the ‘Makey Makey Arduino Addon‘, which will have a ‘hardware’ folder and a readme.  Either read through the readme, or copy & paste the hardware folder to your ‘sketchbook location’ (find yours in your arduino environment under File->Preferences).  You can also find this on github here.  Having this in place means that under “Tools -> Board” in your sketch software you’ll now have the custom config for the MakeyMakey version of Arduino.
  5. If you want somewhere to start from — e.g. just want to alter what letters are assigned to which pins copy the files from this makey_makey github to a sketch folder and load it up and tweak.  This is also the code to reload your makey makey if you happen to have tried some other arduino program before you found this page and bricked your makey makey.

Hopefully I’ll post some updates as to what the kids come up with soon, but for now, here’s the ad from the makers of this open-source piece of awesome:

Sparkfun has a tutorial posted as well.