Thursday, August 30, 2012

Video Rental Places in Seattle Proper That Are Still in Business

Updates (and oversights) welcome as this likely will change pretty rapidly. For places that I’ve visited in the last few years, I’ve included Last Verified notes.  Adult video stores not included.

  1. Video Isle, 2213 Queen Anne Ave N (Queen Anne) [webpage still active as of Nov 2014]
  2. Broadway Video, 512 Broadway Ave E (Capitol Hill) [reported closed as of March 2014]
  3. On 15th Video, 400 15th Ave E (Capitol Hill) [reported closed as of September 2014]
  4. Rain City Video, 719 NW Market St (Fremont) [reported closed in early 2014]
  5. Video Isle, 4459 Fremont Ave N (Fremont) [webpage still active as of Nov 2014]
  6. Scarecrow Video, 5030 Roosevelt Way NE (University District) [Facebook page active as of Nov 2014]
  7. Island Video, 3711 NE 45th St (Sand Point) [ reports this is closed; checked Dec 2013]
  8. Rain City Video, 6412 32nd Ave NW (Ballard)
  9. Blockbuster Video, 100 N 85th St (Greenwood) [now closed; no longer listed on Blockbuster site as of March 2013]
  10. Video Factory, 1557 NE 145th St (Northeast Seattle) [reported closed as of June-July 2014]
  11. Reckless Video, 9020 Roosevelt Way NE (Northeast Seattle) [last verified August 2012]
  12. Blockbuster Video, 10640 16th Ave SW (Fauntleroy) [now closed; no longer listed on Blockbuster site as of June 2013]

Third Man Video and Moviecycle are excluded because they apparently close today [August 30, 2012] and next Wednesday, respectively.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip Summer 2010 Day 10 Wednesday August 4

This is the tenth of a series of posts dealing my seventh trip to Seattle as an adult and second of two trips that year. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of two years later or to add further clarification. 

Would have liked to have slept a bit longer and in fact am still a bit sleepy but misplaced my glasses and had to enlist a hostel person in helping me find them.  If I were to fall asleep again now I'd probably wake up later than I'd planned, and it's a seven-community day (including Seattle). The challenge is that my first stop has quite a few stores, and most open at 10 so I don't want to arrive *too* early but also don't want to arrive so late that I can't fit in all the many other locations.  I think the best game plan at this point is to explore downtown, return to the hostel for breakfast, and then head out around the time of my itinerary rather than miss out on *too* many places I wish to visit.  If things go as planned and I don't fall behind schedule I should be able to ride the South Lake Union trolley before 7 pm.  Regrettably given my recent experience with them I'll be giving Pierce Transit a fair bit of business today but it can't be helped.  At least tomorrow should be a nice lazy day, and I should sleep well tonight.

And (yawn) I'm off.

[NOW: The above was written in the morning; the rest I wrote in the evening.]

No fog today so I'm feeling a bit better today even though the day had its share of mishaps, including needing to use the backup camera more often than I'd have liked.

I walked to Pike Place Market including First and Pike News, then to the waterfront south to the Bainbridge/Bremerton ferry terminal, then north along the waterfront to Bell, then breakfast (got a few aerial views to/from the waterfront, e.g. a bridge at Bell).

[NOW: I think the ferry terminal is officially called Seattle Ferry Terminal and the bridge the Bell Street Bridge.]

I had breakfast then headed to the bus stop.  I was waiting for a Sound Transit bus to Federal Way, and a Sound Transit with a number that wasn't supposed to stop at that stop showed up.  Just as he was about to pull away I played a hunch and waved.  My hunch was right: the number on the bus was wrong and it was indeed the b us I wanted (he had tried to change the number earlier but it hadn't taken).

I rode this bus to Federal Way Transit Center, then visited Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, Blockbuster (not yet open), Action City Comics (ditto), then a couple shops I thought were gone but now I have a different theory (see below), then Borders, then a new Pawn Pros, then Pawn X-Change.

[NOW: Federal Way’s Blockbuster is now gone. Borders is now defunct. I believe Pawn X-Change is now Cash America.]

I tried without success to find the Hollywood Video, then visited Spy Comics (a dog greeted me at the door; a black lab I think), where I bought a set of What If? trade paperbacks (the conceit of this Marvel title is that there's parallel universe where at pivotal moments things happened different than in the "real" Marvel Universe; because they're alternate realities it's possible, though it's rare, for these versions to meet the "real" versions).

[NOW: If it wasn't gone already by then, Hollywood Video is defunct now. Spy Comics is now Fantasium.]

I tried to visit Hollywood Video again but finally realized that 21st AVE S and 21st Ave SW are two different locations (this may be what happenbed to the other two places).  I decided I'd devoted enough time to a store that was probably gone so dashed towards the bus top in time to wave my bus bye-bye.  Luckily the next stop down there was an Arby's across the street so I simply used the time to have an early lunch.

I took a somewhat late bus to the south end of Milton (I asked the driver to let me off at that stop; too late I realized the driver didn't really know where Milton ended so she let me off a stop or tow earlier; she would have let me off a stop sooner still but I convinced her otherwise).  From Milton (not much to described because it was the tail end of a highway of shops) I walked south into Edgewood where I visited Beehive Books & More (metaphysical, and more "More" than "Books"); the next bus was late, which was painful because there was a shop right at the stop where I could have gotten refreshments but didn't want to miss the bus.

I took a bus to the south end of Puyallup, where I visited Pawn X-Change, Blockbuster, Budget CDs (gone), Dollar Giant (got some cola), Borders, and, in South Hill Mall, fye (got a DVD set).  I had a bit of a wait for the next bus due to more lateness and wash tempted to simply dash downhill, but I'm glad I didn't (it was still a long way and being downhill could easily have lost control and slipped).  I finally got the bus back north to downtown Puyallup.

[NOW: I’m unsure if this Pawn X-Change has been converted to a Cash America. Puyallup’s Blockbuster is now gone. Borders, again, is defunct.]

I was 1/2 hour ahead of schedule, though my next bus would be the same due to it being hourly.  That was fine; I had made a promise to myself last year that because the downtown area is so nice that this year I would wander around a lot more this year.  I visited Comic Evolution (you could get comics for $1 each but only if you got at least a short box worth, which would have given me a hernia transporting home), then a pawn shop, then 7-11 for more pop.  I took a lot of pics along the way, including its many, many art pieces, including a statue of a naked woman leaning back, as anatomically correct as the man-boy statue in Seattle's Olympic Sculpture Park; also a sculpture of a giant fork and knife, the former holding a giant strawberry.  A guy in a car got mad at me for "talking a picture of him"; just how vain do you have to be to believe that with art pieces and atmospheric shops everywhere that *you're* the subject of the picture?  Truthfully even after I got POed at me I never even bothered to look at him.

[NOW: Comic Evolution moved and later changed its name and went online only. The naked woman statue is Salutation. The cutlery/strawberry sculpture, no longer there, was called Berry Good.]

I took a bus to Sumner, where I visited A Good Book (the name notwithstanding, non-biblical; it's a general new/used store).  I misread the schedule and returned sooner than I needed to, but it's a nice area and I might try to revisit next year.

[NOW: I still hope to return someday but I’ve since only passed through.]

I took another bus to Auburn, where I visited Comstock Books, which had at least three cats.  I considered asking to take a pic of them, but one of the women there seemed as aloof as the cats themselves when I praised how lovely they were, so I decided against it.

I walked to the unsurprisingly closed down Hollywood Video (therefore the Lacey one gets the honour of being the last one I ever visited, due to the bankruptcy) then dashed back to the transit centre.  Not sure if I missed my bus actually: just as I was arriving a Sounder light rail to Seattle arrived so I quickly dashed to the first ORCA reader I could find, politely got the people talking in front of it to move, tapped the car, and got on the train.  It cost me a bit more and might have been a bit slower, but if I did miss my bus, this was still faster; plus it was far smoother and more relaxing than the bus.

I got off at King Street Station, tapped the ORCA card again so the correct fare could be calculated (and thus ensuring no $125 fine), immediately caught a bus downtown, and from there went to the trolley stop.

For you newbies, the South Lake Union streetcar was going to be called the South Lake Union Trolley.  Before anyone realized what the acronym was, said acronym had a chance to become permanent.  I never did find the ORCA reader, but I had enough time on the card for a transfer anyway so didn't worry about my conscience.  I rode the, uh, trolley, longer than I'd planned because this being light rail, I forgot you had to actually request a stop for this streetcar.

I doubled-back and walked to Seattle Center (not sure if I saved time riding the, uh, streetcar, but it was an excuse just to do it this trip).  I relaxed at the International Fountain for a long time, actually forgetting I hadn't had dinner.  A little after 8 I decided I'd best get some food in me so I went to the sports-motif McDonald's which I hadn't been to for a while, before heading back to the hostel.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip Summer 2010 Day 9 Tuesday August 3

This is the ninth of a series of posts dealing my seventh trip to Seattle as an adult and second of two trips that year. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of two years later or to add further clarification. 

Last night was laundry night so I turned in a little later and "slept in" to 7.  Also helped another traveller in my room with Seattle suggestions.

ORCA card has gone missing.  I'm pretty sure I registered it though so in theory I should only have to pay the replacement fee.  I'll go for a short walk, have breakfast at the hostel, then so if the transit office in the downtown transit tunnel is open.  If not will use cash for my bus trips and fix the matter upon my return. Today I'm scheduled to visit the University District, Warren Magnusson Park, and Capitol Hill, but since the latter, for me at least, is within walking distance, I might head downtown after the park and use Capitol Hill to replace my older Thurs plans, which I pretty much already did on Sun.   I'm feeling a bit tired so this will allow me a quieter day before tomorrow's busier day.

[NOW: The above was written in the morning; the rest I wrote in the evening.]

Crap, still a little less than three days to go.  I'm sorry, I've tried my best to enjoy this trip but between the scare I had yesterday and way, way, way too many photos of white skies due to fog, I am officially sick of this trip; I don't want to see any more fog for a very long time.  But I shall soldier on.

I walked to the International Fountain and back mainly because it was about the only thing I had time to do before breakfast (at least I probably made it to the fountain; honestly can't recall now), then breakfast at the hostel, then a walk to the downtown transit tunnel where I took a bus to the University of Washington.

I tried walking around from memory but that was a bit hard due to lots of construction on campus.  Happily the fountain was on, which isn't often the case when I arrive in the morning.  Basically imagine a large circle full of water with a decent spout in the centre.  It's no International Fountain but it's still pretty impressive.   It took me a while to find the Husky Union Building, which has a small book store.  Finally realized I'd missed it because it was entirely enclosed by construction.

[NOW: The construction is still happening, though it doesn’t take up as much space as it did summer 2010; in the meantime the book store is in another building.]

 I next went to a shopping area in the northeast of the University District, called University Village.  Again the construction resulted in a bit of the scenic route, but I did see more of the sports field than I normally do (football).  Now pretty much walking on auto-pilot I walked around the very quaint looking village, went to Barnes & Nobles, then Blockbuster across the street from the village, then back to the village, taking pics of a Stonehenge-shaped fountain.

[NOW: University Village’s Barnes & Noble and the Blockbuster across from it are now gone.]

Having finally found the proper route to 45th Ave (a bridge in that area) I was disappointed that it was also closed due to construction.  I trudged through the campus again and got to the main shopping area, where i visited University Book Store, Book Kennel, Bulldog News; skipped the Wall of Death to save time; visited Twice Sold Tales (couldn't find the cat), Half Price Books (bought some comics), Cinema Books, Scarecrow Video, Nepture Records, Zanadu Comics, Al's Music, and the dreaming.

[NOW: Book Kennel and University District’s Twice Sold Tales are now gone. University District’s Zanadu Comics is now a Comic Stop.]

I took a bus to Warren G. Magnusson Park but first went through a government security station to visit the Sound Garden, whose name inspired a rock band.  Last time there was access to the park from there, but that access was currently closed, to I walked back the way I came, bought a Slurpee at 7-11, then went back in the direction I just came from again on the other side of the govt complex, i.e. on the park side.  Saw lots of dogs on the off leash area, then walked towards the main beach area, passing a guy whose swimsuit...let's just say it was good for all concerned that he wasn't too happy.

[NOW: Normally nowadays to same time I just photograph the Sound Garden through the fence at Magnusson Park.]

I swam more briefly than intended, partly because the rocks were painful to walk on, and partly because due to rules and due to a lack of other people swimming I'd have to wait for a lifeguard for each swim I did (another guy swam the first time I did, but I couldn't count on that to keep happening)

I took a bus downtown (or rather the International District) and made the mistake of heading to lost and found re: the ORCA card, rather than just getting a card from an earlier stop. So, I visited King Street Station and was told that Pierce County handles cards left on busses from Pierce County locations, only their lost and found was closed for the day, so I had to visit another place nearby for the replacement card.  That place had a much bigger line than I'd likely have gotten at the other card replacement place.  Finally resolved the card matter and made the mistake of thinking it was faster to use the Downtown Transit Tunnel to get to near the trolley that I wanted to ride.

[NOW: After getting the replacement card the hostel, which previously said they didn't have the card, later said a card had turned up. By then though I'd already paid for the replacement card and couldn't reverse it.]

15 minutes later I realized I couldn't really use my transfer anymore so I decided that streetcar would have to wait for tomorrow. I walked to Seattle Center and bought a burger and two large strawberry Juliuses there (they had a two for one deal; in hindsight probably too much of a good thing).

[NOW: Orange Julius has since been evicted from the Seattle Center Armory, which was Center House in 2010.]

I went back downtown and found that the Borders closed earlier than their webpage claimed.  Across from that was a fountain that hasn't been on any time I visited this trip, but there was ballroom dancing and giant chess happening outside in that area so it wasn't a complete lost. 

[NOW: Borders is now defunct.]

I went to Pacific Place and took pics from an overhead bridge to Nordstrom, plus the scrap metal penguin before visiting Barnes & Nobles in that mall.

Heading back north I visited Easy Street Records, passed a dog who sniffed me and probably moved away before I could pet it (can't even catch a break from the doggies), bought a DVD at Silver Platters and then cut through Seattle Center on the way back to the hostel.

So not a total loss day but the fog morning after morning has caused some depression.  The next few days will determine whether I deem this trip a bad one or an okay one.  It did start out great but now I'll settle for "okay".

[NOW: My recollection is the trip did indeed land on “okay”.]

Monday, August 27, 2012

Seattle & Area’s Light Rail Systems

Here are the different types of light rail in Seattle and the broad vicinity. Note that Seattle’s famous waterfront streetcar line has been out of commission for over half a decade, hence its exclusion.  I hope to someday be able to add it.

For people not familiar with the One Regional Card for All (ORCA) card, it’s a card you can put money on to make travelling faster, as you simply tap the card on busses, trains, ferries, etc. It costs $5 but Sound Transit offers a discount in some areas to people who use ORCA cards.  A First Hill streetcar line (Metro Transit) is currently under construction and will be added to the below once it’s running.  There are also plans for an East line from Seattle through Bellevue to Redmond (Sound Transit) and there are also plans to extend the Central Link below north to Lynnwood and south to Federal Way.

Fares are as of August 2012.

  1. Seattle Monorail (Seattle Monorail Services): Only two stops: Westlake Center (downtown Seattle) and Seattle Center as it's mainly a tourist attraction holdover from the 1962 World's Fair. $2.25 each way. Does not accept ORCA cards.
  2. Seattle Streetcar, South Lake Union Line (Metro Transit): this was originally going to be called the South Lake Union Trolley, hence its nickname the SLUT.   Travels from Westlake Center to Fairview & Campus Drive (five stops in between both ways, most notable Lake Union Park. Northbound it switches over from Westlake to Terry but not on the return.  $2.50, accepts ORCA cards and Metro Transit transfers (this is the only service that accepts transfers).
  3. Central Link (Sound Transit): This trail starts at Westlake Station in the Downtown Transit Tunnel (thus stopping at every stop in the tunnel except Convention Station) and terminates at SeaTac Airport.  11 stops in between.  All stops are in Seattle except SeaTac Airport (Seatac) and Tukwila International Blvd Station (Tukwila).  Fares one way range from $2 to $2.75 depending on distance. A day pass costs twice the cost of a one way fare the same distance. Accepts ORCA cards.
  4. Sounder: Seattle to Everett (Sound Transit): Four stops total (King Street Station in Seattle, Edmonds Station, Mukilteo Station, Everett Station).  Some routes are run by Amtrak and those skip Mukilteo.  True Sounder trains cost $2.75-$4 and accept ORCA cards.  Amtrak rides have a special fare and I don’t know the rules there.
  5. Sounder: Seattle to Everett (Sound Transit): Seven stations total (King Street Station in Seattle, Tukwila Station, Kent Station, Auburn Station, Sumner Station, Puyallup Station, Tacoma Dome Station in Tacoma). Fare ranges from $3-$4.75 depending on distance and accepts ORCA cards.
Tacoma Link (Sound Transit): Six stops in Tacoma, from Tacoma Dome station north to Theater District Station.  Union Station is a notable stop. Free

Sunday, August 26, 2012

15 Similarities Between The Shield and Dexter

Minor spoilers below, though I’ve tried to be as vague as I can while making my points):

It occurred to me on the bus today that while on the surface the Shield and Dexter are very different shows, there are some striking similarities (likely coincidental for the most part, but fun to think about).

For the uninitiated, The Shield focussed on a dirty cop (Vic Mackey) and the world around him; it was gritty real and full of action, very past paced.  Dexter is about a forensic cop (Dexter Morgan) and the world around him. Dexter is also a serial killer and his adventures tend to be a lot slower paced, with the occasional flight of fancy; Dexter is also meticulous than Vic, less prone to snap decisions.  The Shield also lets action and dialogue determine people’s thoughts, whereas you frequently hear Dexter’s thoughts.  So they are quite different shows in many ways.

But here are some similarities:

1.      Both shows focus on a corrupt cop, with sub-plots involving a strong supporting cast whose adventures may or may not involve the lead at any given time.
2.      Both show’s leads frequently have to cover their crimes from other cops.
3.      Both show’s leads often act heroically and selfishly in the same episode.
4.      Both show’s leads have a code that they live by, which is not to the letter of the law.
5.      Both show’s leads break their code at least once during the series, but try not to.
6.      Both show’s leads have certain compulsions and would not be content sitting at a desk all day.
7.      Both show’s leads at some point have at least one other cop suspicious of them.
8.      Both shows have a somewhat comedic co-worker who is easily underestimated by others.
9.      Both shows have at least at least one other cop in the police force who has broken the law.
10.  Both shows have had a single season where a previous Oscar winner was a cast member.
11.  Both shows have a bit of a tendency to show male backsides, though not the leads’ (neither sex gets off scott free here but it seems to happen to men more).
12.  Both shows have in some seasons a tough as nails black woman as a boss figure (lieutenant or captain)
13.  Both shows’ captains (the ones above) have a cop as a confidant who is not the lead.
14.  Both shows challenge the viewer to decide how moral or immoral the main character is (to a degree this is also true of supporting characters, but the latter's more pronounced on The Shield than Dexter).
15.  Both leads have at some point in their lives been married.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip Summer 2010 Day 8 Monday August 2

This is the eighth of a series of posts dealing my seventh trip to Seattle as an adult and second of two trips that year. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of two years later or to add further clarification.  If there was a morning edition for this day, it’s gone missing. But the evening version was found.

I took a fairly early transit bus (1 hour sooner than planned), lucking into a front seat to Commerce Transit Center in Tacoma, which turned out to be a very good thing as we'll go into in a moment.  From there I took a Piece County bus to a south end stop on S Pacific.  The bus actually dropped me off right at my first stop, a pawn shop called Topkick, which was actually already open even though it was not long after 9 am.

[NOW: The first bus was a 590s series, Sound Transit. I think the Pierce bus was 1.]

On the flip side the *buildings* were missing for the next few places, all in the same area (all pawnshops): Pawnbrokers, Northwest, AAA, Panders, Old Sarge).  Continuing north I ate breakfast at a Subway, then Disc Connection was closed down but at least I found where it used to be.  I visited E-Z Pawn and Pawn X-Change but didn't buy anything, and Uncle Sam Pawnbrokers was closed on Mondays; Uncle Sam doesn't want *you* to visit on a Monday. I passed by Spooner St, a bit afraid to think of what goes on in that street, then Fred Myers had memory cards I wanted but at outdated prices (they’ve come down a lot most other places).

I took a bus from S Pacific to S Tacoma Way, where I visited another Pawn Exchange.  Heading south, right at the north end of Lakewood, Rincon Music and Affordable Electronics was still present in an interesting shopping place called B&I.  Quite the place, and most stores are only minimally separated from one another.  A security guard helped me find Affordable Electronics.; I've have loved to have taken pics but I didn't think security would be okay with pics of the shopping place

[NOW: The bus above was also Pierce Transit.]

Heading south some more, Smart was replaced by an empty lot at that address, which serves as an open market of sorts, but the people in this open air market apparently hang out with Uncle Sam on Mondays and the lot was empty. Sm, a book store was Korean I think and I could locate any books.  Pal Do and Gawison were gone and Sharon sold only Korean books.

I took a bus to Tacoma Mall (thus back in Tacoma) where I visited fye, and, in the outskirts of the mall, Office Max (got memory cards), Half Price Books (got 1 each: cult, documentary, and foreign films), Atomic Comics, and orders.

[NOW: The bus above was also Pierce Transit.]

I took a bus downtown where I ate lunch at another Subway.  Heading north I visited King Books (the cat was too content sleeping for me top pet; forgot to mention yesterday that Ophelia's had two cats but they were eating at the time).  I then visited Stadium Video.  Buy address it's on N Tacoma but physically it's on Broadway on the other side.

[NOW: The bus above was also Pierce Transit. Stadium Video is now gone.] 

Heading south I visited Buzzard's where I could 2 more DVDs.  I then visited University Book Store and the Glass Bridge (mostly concrete but with various glass displays.  One arch as a display on the ceiling either newly added or previously overlooked.

[NOW: Buzzard’s later merged with Stadium and both closed down at the same time.]

I took the free TacomaLink street car to near Tacoma Book Center and then dashed to the Tacoma Dome Station.  I just missed my bus to Gig Harbor so had to wait half an hour for the next one a bit ironic it being an express bus) so I headed to Greyhound to use the vending machine, only it was locked.

A couple of transit police approached me because I was taking pics of the area while I waited for the next bus.  They told me they weren't (formally) asking me not to take pics but would prefer if I didn't.  I'd have been fine with that but before that they got info from my passport, looked at my recent photos, got my address and phone number, and took a pic of me.  Apparently I'm now considered by them to be a potential terrorist whose target of choice is the Tacoma Dome bus station. Sigh, stupid 9-11 turn USA into stupid police state.  Glad I have a year to decide if I want to visit Tacoma next year.  I realize the need for security, but people need to realize that tourists are going to frequent major travel hubs, and if Tacoma doesn't want my tourist dollars there's lots of places in the area that will happily take them instead.

[NOW: I still visit Tacoma but the visits tend to be shorter now.]

Anyway, I took a bus to Gig Harbor, which requires a bit of walking to my first stop.  I took a deliberate detour because the two places I wanted to visit were both landlocked, and I took an indirect route I could get some decent sea books.  Dightman's proved to be a bible store.  I then visited Borders and arrived at the bus stop just before the bus.

[NOW: Thus bus was 102 Pierce Transit.  Borders is now defunct.]

There I fell victim to an unobservant bus driver.  My first try tapped my ORCA card to the fare screen didn't take but the next did.  I started to reach my seat but the driver hadn't noticed so I had to demonstrate again.  By then most of the window seats were taken except for a courtesy seat, but then soon after a wheelchair got on so I missed out on some great shots on the way back to Tacoma because my that point I was understandably shy about shooting over people.

[NOW: This bus was probably the 100 Pierce Transit.]

This bus wasn't express so I had to switch busses at Tacoma Community College.  A woman got on the bus having a loud argument on her cell.  The driver made her talk softer and after she got off complained that she does this all the time.

[NOW: The second bus was also Pierce Transit.]

Back at Commerce Transit Center a very comfortable looking, very highway bus-like bus back to Seattle arrived.  There were very few stops on the way to Seattle so despite the bus being empty I gambled on the courtesy seats again.  My gamble paid off and I got some great front row seats.  I got off downtown and walked to Seattle Center, grabbed some pizza at a pizza place in Center House (they were a bit frazzled due to a complicated order) then arrived at the International Fountain, where the usual dog was playing. That dog may be the one living thing who loves the fountain more than I do. I got some great shots of sunset making the water of the fountain seem yellow, then returned to my hostel.

[NOW: the bus to Seattle was one of the 590s Sound Transit. Center House is now Seattle Center Armory.]

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip Summer 2010 Day 7 Sunday August 1

Definitely my body's adjusting to the hostel, making me glad I planned most of my busy days for the first half, though Mon and Wed will be fairly busy as well, and of course on Fri will have to get up very early.

Got woken up by person in bunk above me because his cell phone dropped into my area.  Can't really cast stones because the same thing happened to me last year with my glasses, and you can't always guarantee the other person will be gone by the time you really need the item.

Today it's check out any remaining parade clean up, then head north a bit but still in Seattle.  My itinerary then says another visit to Alki but if it's still cloudy might go off itinerary at that point.  

Oh, and I did not get a daypass yesterday (not enough trips to warrant it) but today for sure.  Paying by cash even if the ORCA card allows a daypass because I want the souvenir and in this case it'll be faster to just show the pass everywhere.

[NOW: The above was written in the morning; the rest I wrote in the evening. Metro Transit no loner offers daypasses.]

Well, most of the litter from the parade, and there was quite a bit of it, was in the Belltown area (walked down then to Seattle Center then to hostel for breakfast).  After breakfast I took a bus to Discovery Park.  Due to overly confusing roads and paths took a while to get in and out but did get a lot of pics of the beach area

Walked to the fish ladder at the Ballard Locks and got some incredible shots of fish heading to spawn; one of the two highlights of the day.

[NOW: The full name of the Ballard Locks is the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks.]

Crossed the rest of the locks and made it to the shopping area.  Seafoodfest was apparently last week.  Bought DVDs at Moviecycle, then visited Sonic Boom Records and Arcane Comics, then lunch at Ballard's Burger King before going off itinerary and heading to Woodland Park Zoo

[NOW: Seafoodfest is apparently now held separately from Seafair. Moviecycle is probably gone by now; it was having a closing sale July-August 2012.]

Took me longer than I'd hoped there, in part because a raptor show I didn't have time to watch prevented me from getting the quick pics I wanted of the raptors.  Did get various nice animal pics though. Zoos + kids + humidity = bad mix.

After a quick visit to Video Isle, a car claiming to below to JP Patches passed me; unfortunately tinted windows prevented me from confirming it was the actor who played him.

[NOW: I later determined that someone else owned the car by then. Chris Wedes, who played J.P. Patches died July 22, 2012.]

Visited Jive Time Records, Ophelia's Books, the Center of the Universe marker, Fremont Book Company, the Rocket display, the Lenin statue all before buying too many DVDs at Rain City Video.

[NOW: Rain City Video was having a closing out sale. At the time they weren’t certain when they were actually closing but they were gone by the next visit. The other two branches are apparently still around though. Fremont Book Company is also now gone.]

Then in short order the plant dinosaurs, another quick look at Center and Lenin, the Waiting for the Interurban statue, Rapunzel on the Fremont Bridge, more Waiting, the JP Patches & Gertrude statue, then the Fremont Troll.  Having taken care of Fremont, visited Gas Works Park via the Wallingford Steps; people were dancing (ballroom?) at the circle in the middle of these steps (circle has zodiac signs).

Feeling tired due to the humidity I still made it to the park, which is an industrial complex converted to a family park.  A wedding was being held there.  Then things got really surreal: people with animal masks ran to this one area and back, then the group stripped to swimsuits and slit down a set of two mats that they apparently kept greasing with lots of olive oil.  This went on for a very long time.

I finally got a bus to near Seattle Center.  I quick trip to the International Fountain (now mostly off for the day) then the Subway near my place.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip Summer 2010 Day 6 Saturday July 31 including Torchlight Parade

Bought some cheese puffs from a nearby placed before turning in and then had a pretty good sleep.

Today is the quietest day of the trip for me.  Wander downtown looking at the parade route, do an excursion to West Seattle, more downtown exploration and then the Torchlight Parade.  Maybe sneak in another trip somewhere to justify a daypass, but nothing big.

[NOW: The above was written in the morning; the rest I wrote in the evening. Metro Transit no longer offers daypasses of any sort.]

I've now passed the half way mark of the trip.  Doesn't feel at all like six days.

This morning the Space Needle was invisible from the hostel due to fog.  That's actually been a consistent pattern this trip: fog first part of the morning, still very cloudy until around 3, then blue sky. 

Took pics of the parade set-up the first part of the day, starting towards Seattle, getting pics of the top of the Space Needle still partly hidden in fog.  Then I walked downtown along the parade route, then back, stopping at the hostel for the free breakfast.

More parade set-up, plus a few side excursions, most notably Pike Place Market, including the fish mongers, BLMF Books, and Golden Age Collectibles, with its sign saying to leave the bagat the front but that they aren't responsible if it gets stolen.  And after Pike, Borders, Pacific Place (to see the scrap metal penguin, then Barnes & Noble), then, leaving the parade set-up for now, Zanadu Comics (bought a book called The Thin Black Line, about controversial inker Vince Colletta, who did atmospheric work on Thor and who was very fast, but who often erased stuff from art work to get the job done on time), then Swerve.

[NOW: Borders is now defunct. Swerve is also now gone.]

I passed by protesters trying to get Obama impeached; forgot to mention a similar case a few days ago, but they're going about it wrong, holding signs with photos of Obama with a Hitler mustache; I was never convinced he was the saviour many thought he was at first but neither is he even close to Hitler.  I walked down the Harbor Steps then eventually worked my way to a bus to West Seattle. In a little shopping mall there I visited Square One Books, Key Camera (bought a set of two memory cards, and the Safeway with the mystery button.  Unfortunately I couldn't get that machine to accept any coins so all I could do was let someone know inside.

[NOW: The bus was a Metro Transit one in the 50s, maybe 54. Square One Books is now gone. Safeway no longer has the machine with the mystery button.]

I bought a DVD at Rubato Records then another at the West Seattle branch of Easy St Records, then visited another book store.

[Rubato Records is now gone.]

Soon after I actually found the missing memory cards from yesterday! Seems I accidentally put it with the unused cards.  So while I still lost a fair bit of time yesterday I've regained the photos.

I visited a couple of yard sales on my route, then Arcane Comics (bought a few comics), then another yard sale (I don't recall having visited any in Seattle before; they all happened to be along the route), then took a bus to Alki Beach.  I passed the Birthplace of Seattle marker, the grey Statue of Liberty  (as opposed to the blacker one I saw in Lynnwood), and the Alki Bath House (to my knowledge it's never been used for bathing, though I could be wrong.  I had lunch at my favourite West Seattle restaurant, Pepperdock (their onion rings are incredible).  I also learned that while their art show often coincides with the Torchlight Parade, this time it was last week.  There were a number of people at the beach but it was still overcast so I took a bus back to the Pioneer Square District just south of downtown.  There was an art show there, but both cameras were giving me grief at that point so I didn't get as many pics of that as I'd have liked.  I walked along the parade route again then grabbed an early dinner at the Orange Julius in Center House, Seattle Center; I again ate the dinner at the International Fountain.

[NOW: The bus to Alki Beach and the one to Pioneer Square District were probably both 56 Metro Transit.] West Seattle’s branch of Arcnane Comics is now gone.  Center House is now Seattle Center Armory and they’ve evicted Orange Julius.]

One dog owner wasn't ever nice: her dog clearly wanted to play in the fountain, barking and wagging its tail, plus making  a few attempts to go to it despite the leash, but its mistress wouldn't let it play there.

I bought a Slurpee at the 7-11 near Seattle Center then experimented with sitting on the lawn at Seattle Center.

It was a trade off.  On the downside I didn't see the "repent" protesters who hang out more downtown, I saw less neon because I saw the floats early, There were different entry sections so I didn't see the VIP, the people running a race, or the stunt police cyclists.  Well, the VIPs and the racers are a casualty I can live with and I did see the cop show at the Greenwood Parade.  The plusses were: because it was earlier that I saw some floats I got more clear pics; I got to see KIRO 7 making a speech and doing interviews; as the balloon floats got ready I got pics of them with the Space Needle in the background.  The Monorail was along in the background in the direction of where most of the parade goers walked; got some nice shots of the Space Needle at different times in the eve; and it was easier to see some of the littler and clean-up afterward because it's more lit near the Space Needle.  In all I think I gained more than I lost with my experiment.

I'm not sure anything really stands out: horses, marching bands, various organizations.  One thing unfortunately stood out by its absence: no New Westminster this year, so for the first time since I've been going to these, no BC presence (Vernon stopped having a presence the year before).  Nice to see Sequim in the parade though.  I forgot to pack enough batteries and near the end the batteries in my main camera were threatening to die out before the parade ended, but happily they were bluffing.  Will need to pack batteries for tomorrow for sure but I had enough for the parade.

I took some clean-up pics until I arrived at Bell St and then went to the hostel.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip Summer 2010 Day 5 Friday July 30

People weren't dainty getting in and out of bed last night but otherwise relatively quiet last night.  "Slept in" and got up around 7.  Probably combo of body getting used to here plus last few days' pace being unsustainable.  Happily my plans include a slightly slower pace for next 3 days. Plan is to go to Olympic Sculpture Park, breakfast back here, then off to Issaquah.

[NOW: The above was written in the morning; the rest I wrote in the evening.]

Yes, well, I suppose I'd better do this report.  If I don't people will imagine something worse than what happened this afternoon.

First off, one thing I forgot from yesterday that was amusing: a seagull/food critic pooped on my McDonald's bag while I was at the International Fountain; luckily as the bird and its friend flew by the bag was empty.
The day started out okay. Walked to Olympic Sculpture Park.  The nude man and boy facing each other statue, likely beloved by NAMBLA was there but the fountain obscured the man.  The giant ampersand on the pole was nowhere to be found.  Pole yes, ampersand, no.  It was pretty eerie there due to the fog that eventually lifted.  Also crossed over into Myrtle Edwards Park briefly.

[NOW: The nude statue is Father & Son. The ampersand is back with the Love & Loss piece.]

Went downtown and in the Downtown Transit Tunnel took a bus to Mercer Island.  Wanted to see the sea from the north end, but it was uphill and it looked like rich houses would block my way.  Checked Walgreen's unsuccessfully for more XD memory cards. Stayed longer than I planned because I found an intersting sculpture park there as well.

[NOW: This park is the I-90 Outdoor Sculpture Park.]

Took another bus to Issaquah Park & Ride where I did a long hike to Cougar Mountain Zoological Park. A cougar kept licking his chops as he looked at me.  There were baby wallabies.  One macaw in particular kept saying "Hello" except once when he said "Peekaboo".  The baby tigers from last year were now adults.
I hiked back east and grabbed a lunch at Burger King, including a $1 Icee drink. Went to the north end and took pics of a pond and visited a Barnes & Noble in that area.  Grabbed another $1 Icee from the BK headed east.  Around this time I noticed a memory card missing.  I knew it had to be in the area I just explored, just past the BK, so I retraced my route for 1h10 or so, the original walk around the area it could have dropped out having taken about 40 min.  No luck.  I just missed a bus (it was in front and I waved and waved but no luck again), so I did a little more retracing.  Lost forever are the pics I took today of the Mercer Island sculptures and all the zoo pics.

[NOW: The card thankfully did turn up later in the trip.]

Also missing while I'm on the subject: my 2010 Not for Tourists guide and also my receipt from Hollywood Video; the latter wouldn't normally be a concern but DVDs I paid 60c for have $9.99 and $14.99 price stickers on them). Not necessarily all lost at once, probably not in fact.

[NOW: I think the receipt finally turned up but not the guide book.]

I decided to explore one more section of Issaquah because I incorrectly believe the next bus was later than it was.  Soundsations at Issaquah Commons was gone but at the same place I bought some extra memory cards for more than I would have at London Drugs in Victoria.  Needed to hedge my bets because they're becoming scarce.

I finally got on a bus to Rainier Freeway Station and took another bus from there to the Walgreen's just outside of Columbia City.  Bought a couple of Vanilla Coke bottles.  Visited Bookworms in Columbia then walked to Seward Park, a nice beach/hiking area where in some areas you can clearly see Mercer Island.  Swam a bit, then walked around the park; I saw one woman apparently doing a model shoot for another woman.  Walked along some of the more woods area but I didn't enjoy that part so much and due to the earlier chaos wanted to leave for Seattle Center (for some reason I thought that the next bus might be the last of the day; maybe it was that way last year).

At the Orange Julius in Seattle Center's Center House I learned you can upsize your drink with the meal so I had a burger, fries and large strawberry Julius.  Relaxed a while at the International Fountain.  Some girls actually fed the seagulls cotton candy there.

[NOW: Center House IS now called the Seattle Center Armory, and they’ve evicted Orange Julius.]

Still wanting to comfort myself some more, bought some more DVDs at Silver Platters (foreign, documentary, b-movies) and at Easy St Records (most $3)

So the day wasn't a total loss and I think I'm doing all I really card to feel better, but that missing card plus the extra lost 2 hours that followed from the search and missing the bus has knocked some of the enthusiasm for the trip.  I'm just going to let my body feel what it wants to feel and not try to force any mood on myself.  Lecturing myself or having others lecture me on moods never works as well as just letting time pass.  

[NOW: The trip never recovered entirely from this day but the cards turning up helped a lot.]

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip Summer 2010 Day 4 Thursday July 29

Last night a guy asked about leaving a light on.  I thought he meant for doing stuff but at 3 am it was still on so I turned it off (the brighter light was already off).

Took an early bus to Tacoma and actually managed to get a bus to Olympia that left 1/2 hour sooner than the one I'd planned to take.  I got off the near a Subway I had breakfast at.

[NOW: The first bus was in the 590s, Sound Transit, while the latter was probably 603, Intercity Transit.]

I explored the grounds of the state government buildings (even went inside a couple them briefly), then wandered down to Capitol Lake.  I visited the Heritage Park Fountain but it still wasn't on yet at opening time.  To maximize my time I reordered things a bit; I went to Olympia Transit Center and, buying a $2 daypass, took a bus to the west side of the city, overshooting my stop a bit.  I went to the Barnes & Nobles and then headed to the Blockbuster, which last time I had been led to believe it was further west than it really was; turns out that you can't really see it from the street it's really on because its back is to that street; the only reason I found it was I was told it was in the same area as a Safeway.

I went to Borders in Westfield Promenade and then Best Buy at Westfield Shopping Center proper.  Beyond that little bit I didn't actually explore the mall because there was nothing of interest inside.

[NOW: The bus I took was the 48 Intercity Transit. Borders is now defunct.]

I took a bus to Olympic Transit Center then transferred into another bus to Lacey where I visited Olympic Cards & Cards, then Hollywood Video.  This Hollywood Video was... actually open and because it was closing down in a few days got around 40 DVDs for a little over $25 after tax.  I visited Boomerang (another DVD store) and then took a bus back to Olympia Transit Center.  Both ways I passed the cemetery by Phoenix St.  They'll be back again some day I guess.

[NOW: The bus back downtown was a 48 again, then the bus to and from Lacey was a 66, Intercity Transit. Hollywood Video is of course now fully defunct.]

The same bus switched numbers and went to Tumwater, where, after a girl told me my camera looked weird, I grabbed a lunch to go at Arby's, crossed a highway overpass and visited Blockbuster, then returned  to the east side and visited Tumwater Video.  On the bus back a buy told everyone, pointing at everyone, that if we see "her" to tell her she can kiss his a--.  Unfortunately he gave no description had we actually wished to pass along this information to her.

[NOW: The second bus number was a 13. Tumwater’s Blockbuster and Tumwater Video are now gone.]

Back downtown, I visited a park whose name I can't recall, but it's quite a nice one, near the Greyhound depot; spent a fair bit of time here when my Portland trip went south years ago.

[Now: See the last day of my 2008 trip reports for details. The park is Sylvester Park.]

I visited Fireside Books, Rainy Day Records (got more DVDs), Phantom City Records, Orca Books (like Balderdash yesterday the cat wasn't around; maybe the cats are at some sort of book store cat convention), then the Star Wars mural.  I went to an area of the waterfront where there was a lot of mud where the sea should be;  only a bit of water until a distance away; I don't think the tide can fully account for this.

[NOW: Fireside Books recently closed down.]

I visited Last Word Books, De Colores Books (there was a sleeping dog that I snuck a pic of but otherwise left lie), then ignored a street person who wanted to talk to me.  My sense was he was one of those street people who think if you point a camera *away* from them you're trying to take a pic of them.  I visited Danger Room Comics, then returned to Heritage Park Fountain (basically water jets from the ground). This time it was on but I limited my pics anyway because of all the kids paying there; didn't want to create any wrong ideas.  A trip to another part of the waterfront, then the park from earlier, then a bus back to Tacoma.  As always around that time the bus back to Tacoma got caught in a traffic jam and I struggled to stay awake and take pics.

[NOW: While I visited De Colores as well, the dog was actually at Browser’s Books. The bus back to Tacoma was probably 603, Intercity Transit]

In Tacoma I got on a bus back to Seattle; unfortunately a screen with an ad distorted my pics on that bus somewhat.

[NOW: The bus was one of the 590s, Sound Transit.]

Back in downtown Seattle I visited Borders and bought a DVD, then walked to the sports motif McDonald's and got dinner to go which I took to the International Fountain.  The fountain was winding down so I tried to visit Office Maxx because with my cameras working better than expected, I'm concerned about running out of cards.  Unfortunately that branch was gone.  I bought more DVDs at Silver Platters (mostly b-movies but also a Chinese action movie partly set in Canada) then bought drinks at Rite Aid, where right before me and right after me in line there was someone with dog; guess that store has gone to..., no, not going to say it; too easy.

[NOW: Again, Borders is now defunct.]

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip Summer 2010 Day 3 Wednesday July 28

This is the third of a series of posts dealing my seventh trip to Seattle as an adult and second of two trips that year. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of two years later or to add further clarification. 

Addresses disappeared again so using the copy and paste method.  A bit hard to concentrate as due to Skype (likely) someone's yacking at his terminal at a cell phone volume voice. 

Forgot to mention yesterday: at Seattle Center yesterday I saw a marching band I think rehearsing, likely for the Greenwood and/or Torchlight Parades.

Guy with laptop last night noticed I was trying to sleep so turned off the lights but then someone else walked in the room, turned on the lights, introduced him himself to the laptop guy and had a long conversation.  Finally nodded off during this.  Did hear laptop guy turn on his computer aorund 5ish.

Today it's Snohomish County, then the Greenwood Parade (not the main parade I'm here for, but a decent warm-up)

[NOW: The above was written in the morning; the rest I wrote in the evening.]

Pardon typos, lots to cover and I have an early day tomorrow (likely no morning edition)

[NOW: Hopefully typos all removed.]

I started the day visiting Rachel the (piggy bank) Pig at Pike Place Market; she had balloons attached to her.  I then took a bus to Ash Way Park & Ride in Lynnwood and from there took another bus the rest of the way north to Arlington.  Arlington compares unfavourably to the prairies. Flat and lots of dead grass everywhere.  Reader's Choice there wasn't yet open and Hollywood Video was gone (since May 20 apparently).  I took another bus south to Marysville, along the way passing the one interesting thing I saw in Arlington: a fountain in the middle of a field.

[NOW: The bus to Ash Way would probably the 511 Sound Transit. The next bus would have been the 201 or 202 Community Transit; ditto the bus back from Arlington.]

In Marysville I got some DVDs at Big Kmart, had breakfast across the street at McDonald's, then took another bus to Hollywood Video (gone; starting to see a pattern), then Pawn X-Change, then I peeked quickly into the window of Pawn Plus, which was just about to open, but my bus was coming. I continued south to Lynnwood; a fly was on the window so I took a photo that should make it look like a giant bus.  The bus had a stopover in Everett so I stretched my legs there.  In Lynnwood I got off at Alderwood Mall, but before going there, being two hours ahead of my schedule, I made a last minute decision to visit the area of Bothell near Canyon Park & Ride, visiting Hollywood Video (gone, yup, a pattern) and Blockbuster before crossing a bridge across the highway to the other side of the Park & Ride.  Half an hour after laving the mall I was back there to actually explore it.

[NOW: Pawn X-Change branches are turning into Cash America; not sure if that’s happened with the Marysville one. The bus back to Everett was also 201 or 202 Community Transit. The bus to and from Bothell was probably the 535 Sound Transit. Bothell’s Blockbuster is now gone.]

I bought a DVD at Borders, visited fye, had lunch at a Cajun place, then left the mall brief to go to Crazy Mike's Video (gone).  I returned to the outside of the mall only which has some interesting displays, then crossed the highway (overpass) to Best Buy, then Barnes & Noble.  I walked south to Brier.  Only managed to see a bit of residential area but now I can saw I've been to Brier, I headed west to Mountlake Terrace.  Again, didn't see much of it, but did visit Albertson's and Blockbuster.  Heading north back into Lynnwood I passed a black painted Statue of Liberty at a 76 gas station.

[NOW: Borders is now defunct.]

I made it to 196th St and headed west the way I've done in the past.  I bought a pop at Big Lots, visited Jerry's Pawn (they didn't sell DVDs), Half Price Books, Reread Books.

I got a drink at a 7-11 just in time to catch a bus west to where Lynnwood becomes Edmonds.  I dipped into Edmonds, visited the Blockbuster right beside it (stuff spilled out of my fanny pack -- not my cameras but I noticed in time).  I took a bus to Edmonds Community College (in Lynnwood, not Edmonds) where I nearly missed my bus because I was at the stop for the bus going the other direction.  I took a bus to the north end of Shoreline, Aurora Ave.

[NOW: The buses above were all Community Transit. The Blockbuster at the Lynnwood/Edmonds border is now gone.]

Ther I visted Super Pawn, then a grocery store for more pop.  Not feeling like taking the bus, I embarked on a 70 block walk south (bear in mind that the blocks are pretty short at times).  I was going to visit Ronna's Video but it was... the wrong kind of video store.  Aurora Video wasn't much better for me, only in this case it was Asian (but not Chinese) DVDs that probably didn't have any English.  BTW lots of construction on Aurora in the Shoreline area; one store had a bear statue.  I went south to Walgreen's and got Vanilla Coke there; bliss.  I walked the rest of the way to Seattle (okay, I crossed the street) and headed south to Blockbuster.  There I bought a South Park DVD game.  They had other games for the 1980s and Simpsons but they cost more and were bulkier.  I walked to Kmart, then decided, since I was now behind the schedule, to cut out a few places and take a bus to across the street from the Elephant on Aurora statue.  I took a few pics without bothering to cross, then walked to the Greenwood area, where the parade was being set up.  I cut out a few more places but visited Dreamstrands (not open but should have been), Squirrel's Buy & Sell (reverse of above, same as last parade), Balderdash Books (no cat this time), Walgreen's (more Vanilla Coke).  I went to near the north end of the parade route and grabbed some pre-made burgers from a store (Barb's).

[NOW: The Blockbuster described above is now gone. I most likely also visited the Greenwood area Blockbuster; it’s still there. Balderdash Books is now gone; a new book store called 50c Books is in its place. The bus I took on Aurora was probably the 358 Metro Transit.]

The parade...,even last year in didn't win speed contests but it really packed 1 1/2 hours into 2 1/2 hours this year!  Early on, my main camera started to die so I switched camera and accidentally hit the off button... resulting in two cameras with zoom errors!

Fortunately a few things were on my side: parade slowness, my being on the north end, and even the kind of breeze caused by walking tending to fix camera problems.  So I just went south along the parade route until I had a working camera again and didn't miss anything.

A horse pooped on the route and some teenage girls cleaned most of it but ignored one piece.  Someone put a napkin over it and later a car drove over the napkin.  I forgot to check for the story's conclusion :)

I eventually got bored and headed north again to fast forward through the parade, which ends with pirates firing a cannon.  Got some nice smoking cannon shots.

I headed south again, passing Lincoln’s Toe Truck (sic) and headed to the nearest bus stop.

Here I actually saw the highlight of the parade.  Just south of the parade the Seafair Clowns, having finished their part of the parade, were sitting in the patio of a pub talking about free Jell-O shots.

The bus took forever but finally arrived. Took the bus to near Seattle Center.  Went to the International Fountain and got some night shots of Seattle Center before returning here.

[NOW: The bus to Seattle Center was the 5 Metro Transit.]


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Toronto March 2011 Trip Retro-Itinerary

This is the itinerary I used for my March 2011 trip to Toronto and area.  Abbreviations as per the original itinerary for historical reasons.  See the links for the trip reports posted to see how the itinerary compared to the actual day.  I do not recommend trying to use the timings listed as these were 2011 timings plus I underestimated walking times.  NOW in brackets is present day notes.  L=Leave A=Arrive BB=Blockbuster

Wednesday Mar 2
Pack pjs
Cancel Flickr uploads if needed
Turn off computer
L c5:32/5:51 Downtown Victoria 72/70
A 6:35 or 6:37 Swartz Bay
L 7:00 Swartz Bay Ferry
A 8:35 Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal
L 9:00 Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal 620/8:35 PCL
A 9:37 Bridgeport Stn
L 9:47 Bridgeport Stn Southbound
A 9:54 YVR Southbound  / 9:25 Main Terminal?
L 11:30 YVR Main Termiinal WS650
A 6:56 Pearson Airport Terminal 3
Get 5 tokens
L 7:26 Pearson Airport Terminal 3 192
A 7:50 Kipling Station
L 7:56 Kipling Station E Bloor-Danforth Subway
A 8:12 Ossington Station
Try to fit in dinner somewhere

Thursday Mar 3
Explore Toronto on foot; start with Bloor St
Leave by 9; focus on maps 115, 120; 119, 114 time permitting
Today or Monday: Yonge, Casa Loma (exterior only), Police Museum, Denison Square, Legislature, Toronto Islands, CN Tower, CBC Museum

[NOW: Obviously I didn’t expect to get all of the above done in one day. It was my first time in Toronto and was brainstorming places to walk to]

Friday Mar 4
Go Daypass needed
Pack passport and $US
L 6:21 Bloor St W @ Davenport Rd 300S
A 6:31 Bloor St E @ East Side Stop Yonge St
L 6:36 Bloor Station Southbound – Yonge-University-Spadina Subway
A 6:43 Union Station N towards Downsview
Get Go Daypass
L 6:53 Union Station 6:53 Go 12 train
A 7:45 Burlington Go Station
L 7:56 Burlington Go Station Go 12 bus
A 9:11 Niagara Via Station
Skywheel?, Neutral Zone, Rogers?, BB?; check out the tacky shops
11:30 Attempt to visit Niagara Falls NY
Book Corner, House?, S&B?
L 12:30/1:40 Niagara Falls VIA Go 12 bus
A 12:50/2:00 St Catherines Go Station
BB, That’s, Mitchell, Chapters (716);
L 2:00/3:22 St Catherines Go Station
A 2:25/3:47 Grimsby P&R time permitting
Talkies, Milk, Privateer, BB, Campaign (716); Headley, Atomix (726)
L 3:47/5:19 Grimsby P&R
A 4:02/5:34 Stoney Creek P&R Barton & Nash
Coles, maybe stores on Queenston, maybe Battlefield Sq, Gulliver Sq, Queenston Mall
L 4:23/5:55 Stoney Creek P&R Barton & Nash 2
Too many dt places to list; focus King St to start; also Copps
A 5:02/6:34 Hamilton Go Centre Platform
L 5:30/7:00 Hamilton Go Centre 16
A 6:40/8:00 Union Station
L 6:48/8:08 Union Station N Yonge-University-Spadina subway
A 6:55/8:16 Bloor Station
L 7:00/8:23 Yonge Station W Bloor-Danforth
A 7:07/8:29 Ossington Station

[NOW: Canada’s Blockbuster is now defunct.  If the Rogers above still exists, it’s no longer a video rental place. Mitchell Family Books and Talkies Home Video afre now gone.]

Saturday Mar 5
Daypasses needed TTC and Go
Get TTC Daypass Ossington Station
L 7:56 Ossington Station Bloor-Danforth
A 8:03 Yonge Station
L 8:09 Bloor Station Yonge-University-Spadina
A 8:23 Finch Station
L 8:36 Finch Station 77
A 8:46 Centre and Oakbank
Oakbank Pond Park
L 9:17 Yonge/Centre 601
A 9:23 Richmond Hill Centre Platform 4
L 9:45 Yonge St & Garden Ave 99
A 9:54 Yonge St & Abitibi Ave
Wizard, X-O, Pars, Bookland, Bookshoppe, BB
L 10:24 Finch Station Yonge-University Spadina
A 10:28 Sheppard-Yonge Station (Or 97)
Coles, Series X
L 10:42 Sheppard-Yonge
A 11:06 Union Station
Get Go Daypass
L 11:13 Union Stn or 9:23 Danforth Stn Go 9 train
A 11:49 Pickering Stn (Map 266)
Chapters, Blockbuster (266), Video 99 (274), Movies & Liquidators (266)
L 12:49 Pickering Stn Go 9 (or walk via Bayly) (Map 274)
A 12:54 Ajax Stn (Map 267)
Déjà Vu, Readers Discount, Blockbuster, Gnu, Star. Blockbuster, Rogers?, Electronic, Beat, Chapters
L 1:54 Ajax Stn Go 9
A 2:01 Whitby Stn (Map 268)
CB Addiction, Hollywood, Blockbuster, Greenlight, Mitchell, Rigers, Blockbuster
L 3:01 Whitby Stn Go 9 (or walk via King)
A 3:08 Oshawa (still Map 268)
Chapters (268), Déjà vu, Blockbuster, Mike’s, Self, Star, Worlds Collide, Skyfox, Sunshine (Map 269)
Time permitting: Half Price, Blockbuster, Gnu, Coles, Rogers, Video King (Map 261)
L Oshawa Go Station 4:41
A Scarborough Station 5:22 (Map 116)
Walk Kennedy Station 5:50 then
L Kennedy Station ??
A Scarborough TC Coles, New Deal (111) BB (110) or Ellesmere (110)
Chapters, Deja
L 7:05 Ellesmere Station Scarborough Route
A 7:11 Kennedy Station
L 7:17 Kennedy Station Bloor-Danforth
A 7:46 Ossington Station

[NOW: Wizard of Centrepoint, X-O City, Bookland Presse, Book Shoppe, Series X, Ajax’s Gnu Books, Ajax’s The Beat Goes On, Video King are now gone (Gnu Books and The Beat Goes On are still around in other locations). Again, Canada’s Blockbuster is now defunct, and if the Rogers above still exists, it’s no longer a video rental place.]

Sunday Mar 6
Go Daypass needed
8/9 Keele Subway Station (Jan & Dave); breakfast
High Park
Explore Maps 119/114 time permitting
If time issue, subway Keele to Spadina, Spadina to Union
Get Go Daypass
L 11:43 Union Go 1 (OR 11:49 Exhibitioon/11:57 Mimico)
A 12:22 Oakville Go
Blockbuster, Treasure, All, Village, Bookers, Second, Solomon, Good
L 1:28 Oakville Go 1
A 1:43 Port Credit Go Station Rail
L 1:48 Port Credit Go Station 19
A 2:18 City Centre Dr at Square One Drive
Coles, Starstruck, Planet Hobby, Chapters
L 3:30 Square One Go 21 Rathburn & Duke of York
A Union Station 4:10
Explore whatever’s open for a few hours, e.g. Denison Square

[NOW: Canada’s Blockbuster is again now defunct. Treasure Island Books, All is Well Book Shop, Village Bookshoppe, Bookers Book Shop, Second Editions, Solomon Book, Good Books, Starstruck Entertainment are now gone.]

Monday Mar 7
Pack Rachel’s info
Explore Toronto on foot
Leave by 9; focus on maps 115, 120; 119, 114 time permitting
10:30 Rachel, L’Espresso 321 Bloor St W
Yonge, Casa Loma  (exterior only), Police Museum, Denison Square, Legislature, Toronto Islands, CN Tower, CBC Museum if not previously

Tuesday Mar 8
Final morning Toronto exploration then
L 10:44 Ossington Bloor-Danforth
A 10:58 Islington
Excalibur Comics, Rogers, BB
L 11:39 Kipling Station 192
A 11:57 Toronto Airport
Time permitting walk Brampton and back
L 1:30 Toronto Airport Terminal 3 WS681
A Vancouver Main Terminal 3:30
L 3:48/403 YVR-Airport Station Eastbound Canada Line
   A Lansdowne Centre 4:26
   Best Buy, Future Shop
   Walk/Skytrain Richmond Centre
   Food Court
   L 5:38 Brighouse Station
A 3:55/5:45 Bridgeport Station
L 4:00/6:00 Bridgeport Station 620
A 4:40/6:40 Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal
L 5:00/7:00 Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal ferry
A 6:35/8:35 Swartz Bay
L 7:00/9:00 Swartz Bay 70 72
A downtown c 7:54/10:03

[NOW: Again, Rogers is no longer a video rental place; Canada’s Blockbuster is now defunct.]