Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My First Major View Towers Fire

This is an expansion of a section of previous post detailing happenings at View Towers

There was a period where there the fire alarm was being pulled a lot.  Apparently the person responsible moved away, got evicted, or possibly died because they eventually stopped, but at the time they were pretty common. So when the fire alarm went off, I did go out but I wasn’t too concerned.

Much to my surprise this time the fire and smoke were quite noticeable, coming from the 12th floor. Despite this many people were content to remain in the building and watch, including one guy whose balcony was being licking by the flames (I think he eventually got around to leaving).  This detail even made the news, which hasn’t dissuaded tenants from remaining in the building during subsequent fire arms. The flames went up I think three stories and a bit to the left.

Subsequent fires did less damage, but in this instance the tenant in the burning room left the door open upon vacating, allowing the fire to spread. I’ve heard that the fire was caused by lit drug paraphernalia but I don’t know for sure.

Another source of damage was actually the fire hoses, which had so many that they caused a lot of water damage.

The aftermath: they exterior of the burnt room was black for a while after. For a very short time the elevators were out of commission. The entrance to the 12 was blackened.  Most or all the carpet on that floor’s hall had to be replaced.

And… tenants got a notice saying that the fire hoses were being replaced for our safety. I still have that notice somewhere.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Barking Crow

Once I was at the University of Victoria and I heard a barking sound. I turned around and the barking stopped. I couldn’t see any dog but there was a crow staring at me. I turned away and the barking resumed. I turned around again.  Again, no dog but the crow was still looking at me.  I never did catch it barking at me but the look the crow gave me pretty much confirmed its “guilt”.

Monday, November 28, 2011

New Bed Misadventure

I just got a new bed over the weekend, with the help of the previous owner and another friend.

The police were at my building when I arrived.  Inside the main entrance there was a decent sized group of people waiting, including the police.  The reason for the size of the group (at least in part) proved to be because one of the three elevators was locked off due to people moving out.

An elevator finally arrived that was not locked off but there was not enough room for us (and we didn’t want to slow down the police. I indicated to some people behind us that they could go in that one and we’d wait but instead they went ahead and did not get in, effectively butting ahead of us in line.  Once they got in (one had a bike) we couldn’t fit in.

We moved closer to the elevator button. More people were behind us now and one called me a name under huis breath as he pressed the down button due to the common misconception that that cases the elevator to arrive faster when all it really does is make the elevator door open and close twice instead of just once.

Finally we got in as did the cause who whispered a name at me. Another person with a bike got upset that there wasn’t enough room. One friend remarked on his temper, which caused the guy who called me a name to make a room remark.  One we actually got to my place I found that I had slightly measured the space needed wrong, but not to a serious degree and I was later able to fix that pretty quickly, though I did accidentally knock a few things over.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Justice is Served!: The Scourge of the Underworld Files 7: Kraven the Hunter (Failed Hit)

This is part seven of a series of posts examining the original Scourge storyline in the 1980s to 1990s, in which an organization devoted to the assassination of super-villains, usually with a modified submachine gun with explosive shells went into action, usually uttering the catch-phrase "Justice is served!" just after killing the villain. Adapted from material I previously wrote in the 1990s on an older website. Previously I was going from memory but in 2014 I purchased the Scourge of the Underworld trade. I also have the most recent Marvel Index volumes. I am therefore editing this series accordingly. This series covers Iron Man#194 to USAgent#4. It does not cover subsequent appearances of characters called Scourge as all subsequent appearances deviated in key ways from the original concept. On the other hand, hits that were considered unsuccessful even at the time are covered. For successful hits, postmortem uses of victims are now noted.

WEST COAST AVENGERS#3 by Steve Englehart (writer) with Al Milgrom & Joe Sinnott (art)
Would-Be Victim: Kraven the Hunter (Sergei Kravinoff)
Disguise: Man in park
Synopsis: While Tigra battles Kraven, Scourge watches the fight and decides not to take the hit, fearing hitting Tigra. 
Is it a key part of the Scourge storyline? No
Does it tie in to the main story in this issue? Yes, since the fight between Tigra and Kraven is the focus of the issue.
Other comments: Scourge needn't have worried with this one. Kraven commits suicide in his next adventure, in the Fearful Symmetry storyline that ran through various Spider-Man titles (though he was subsequently brought back after a series of successors). Now that the Marvel Age Annual story is canon, it is arguable that Scourge is being extra careful not to hit an innocent this time around as a result of that mishap.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Nanaimo’s Main Shopping Centres Then and Now

Looking at the shopping centres in Nanaimo in 1991 vs. 2011, roughly from south to north (except for University Village, all accessed via the highway).

Harbour Park: Now Port Place.  Previously has a bit of structural changes.  Currently a lot smaller has half has been demolished.  May provide bigger once the construction has beenm completed.

Harewood Plaza: Now University Village. Completely overhauled.  Only a small part of the original structure still present

Terminal Park: some stores of come and gone but mostly unchanged.

Northbrook Mall: Now Brooks Landing.  A good portion has been renovated/changed; less inside access now.

County Club Centre: Some changes around where the Future Shop is now but largely inact.

Rutherford Mall: Now Nanaimo North Town Centre. A few bits of expansion/changes here and then but largely the same.

Woodgrove Centre: Greatly expanded, though a lot of the old structure also present.

Friday, November 25, 2011

November Nanaimo Trip Plan vs Reality: The Reality

Yesterday I outlined my plans for today. Today I'll demonstrate how you can still see my basic framework, but with a lot of changes.

I arrived at the Victoria bus depot just after 7, but the bus didn't load until 7:30, so I grabbed a sandwich from a nearby 7-11 in the meantime.  The driver was agreeable to letting my off at Port Place. On the way over but not the way back there was a stopover in Duncan. I noticed that the late evening bus is only available Friday and Sunday now.

The bus was a little late getting into Nanaimo.  At London Drugs - Port Place getting a day buspass proved to be a slight misadventure: I went to a regular line and was redirected to customer service where the lady tried to sell me a monthly pass..  She said she thought I asked for a buspass. I pointed out that a day buspass was a type of buspass.

More than half the mall was demolished apparently to create a new road to a ferry, so Falconer Books, a mainstay of the mall wasn't there anymore.

Walking to Commercial Drive I visited Well Read Books/Literacy Nanaimo, skipped Bestsellers because it wasn't yet open but went there later, saw Occupy Nanaimo (only a couple tents both times I went by), visited Bygone Books, and bought some blu-rays and horror DVDs at Facinating Rhythm. I bought a fair number so he gave me the most expensive one for free.

Around 10:30 I got on the 9 bus. At First I didn't have a window seat and then I only had a left window seat (right is the better view) but I eventually managed to switch.  Getting off at Country Club, I visited Future Shop, walked past Coles, and bought some comics at Curious Comics.

The weather was pretty nice now so instead of taking the bus to Nanaimo North Town Centre I decided to walk.  I arrived at the McDonald's right by the mall around 11:30, just after the time the bus would have arrived art the mall assuming it was on schedule.  I ate lunch, bought some DVDs at Best Buy, found that Book Bedouin had closed down, found that the Military Museum had also temporarily closed down (it's supposed to re-open downtown Spring 2012), and visited Zeller's. 

I decided to walk again but the north end proved a dead end. Finally made it off the mall property around 12:15.

A video store en route was gone. I visited the Real Canadian Superstore and then made it to the Woodgrove Mall.

There I saw the clock tower (had to be careful taking photos there because there was also a Santa with kids there), visited HMV, visited Walmart.  I then took the 1:17 15 bus southwest to the University of Vancouver Island, arriving around 1:40. I did a quick walk to places I used to take classes while it was still Malaspina, then returned to the bus stop a bit late, 1:49. 

Luckily my next bus, the 44 was also late so I took it to Stock X-Changers on Bowen Road (hard to get off the bus because the driver didn't clue in for a while that I wanted out the back.  At the pawn shop I bought some DVDs. did a but of a jog, and took another 44 bus back to the University. I took a few more photos (tame rabbits, the koi fish pond - no fish around today, the cafeteria, and my former residence; couldn't get as close as I'd have liked because there were people standing outside.

I started doing the walk I used to take downtown 20 years ago. En route I noticed that Tri-Star was gone, though online evidence suggests it ave have just moved. I detoured brief to take photos of University Village (formerly Harewood Plaza), and then went back to my route and walked downtown.

I walked north to a couple more pawn shops and bought a blu-ray at one of them.  I walked back downtown, visiting Bestsellers, walked briefly to the waterfront area to take some photos I had wanted to take earlier while on the 9 bus, and then started heading down, retracing a path I took while visiting Nanaimo on a trip prior to moving to Nanaimo for school.

I did a bit of a detour by the bus depot because I kept missing a shop I wanted to visit on earlier trips, Money Maxx. It was smaller now but still around so I bought more blu-rays.  I took a shortcut back to the main road, figuring I could get the segment I missed on the retracing on the way back.

I walked to Terminal Park, where I visited the Good Old Book Exchange and bought an early dinner from Burger King, and then walked back to the bus depot.

The bus was supposed to leave at 5:15 but started loading around 5:20 and left around 5:30. It was supposed to arrive at the Victoria bus depot at 7:20 but I think it was 7:45 that I got off at the second last stop, City Hall. The distance is about the same as from the depot, so getting off earluier shaved off some riding time.

So, basic structure there as planned, but many time differences, a few walks instead of bus rides, a 50 minute detour to Stock X-Changers, a few other additions.   The structure was still useful because it gave me a starting point to play with, but I let the weather and my sense of fun dictate changes to the schedule.  Make use of a buspass and itinerary when beneficial, but don't be a slave to them. That's my motto to a successful day of travelling.