Friday, November 30, 2012

Seattle Trip 2006 Updates



I've made updates to my previous Seattle Trip 2006 reports.  The updates are within the reports themselves, but for people who only want to see the new material, it's included in this post.

Seattle Trip 2006 Day 1 Friday July 28

[original paragraph 3]
The ferry arrived in Port Angeles the earliest the Coho Ferry ever has since I've used it, so I went to a book store that opens before 8 and took a peak around before heading to Sequim by Clallum Transit.  I did a small bit of shopping there before taking a Jefferson Transit bus to Port Townsend.  Next bus was also Jefferson Transit so I grabbed a bus schedule.  Good thing I did because the next bus left 15 minutes earlier than I expected, and the next bus after that is four hours later.  So I did a shorter than planned look at Port Townsend before returning to the Park and Ride to head to Poulsbo.

[UPDATE November 30, 2012: The Coho ferry is Black Ball Transport.]

[Original paragraph 4]
I took a quick peak at the shopping centre by Poulsbo Park & Ride before taking a Kitsap County bus to Bainbridge Ferry Terminal.  Ferry was free to Seattle and bigger than I expected.  But a cheeseburger (no extras) was $6 US so decided to wait to Seattle to eat.  Excellent view of the city approaching.  That's when I really felt like the trip was really working to its destination.  You could easily see the Space Needle and the large downtown buildings most of the journey.

{Poulsbo Park & Ride amended to Poulsbo Transfer Center and Kitsap County to Kitsap Transit}

[2ND “NOW” paragraph]

[NOW: The bus from Port Townsend to Poulsbo is the number 7 and from Poulsbo to Bainbridge is the number 90. The shopping centre above is the Poulsbo Village Shopping Center. I now take a different route to Seattle from Port Townsend because the 11:40 or so run got cancelled and the next one’s not until around 3.  I do miss the view of Seattle approaching. I originally thought that my doing the trip would hit me upon turning off from Four Corners on the number 7, as that was where the trip was new for me, but as noted it was actually on the ferry when I could see the Space Needle.]

[UPDATE November 30, 2012:  The ferry to Seattle is Washington State Ferries.]

[4th “NOW” paragraph]

[NOW: This is the downtown Seattle branch of Zanadu Comics; they have another branch in the University District.]

[UPDATE November 30, 2012: There is now only one Zanadu Comics. The University Diustrict branch is now a Comic Stop.]

[6th “NOW” paragraph]
[NOW: The fountain is called the International Fountain, and it was the first place where I really felt at home in Seattle, where I fell in love with the city. The store at KCTS is of course called the KCTS Store; both the International Fountain and the KCTS 9 Store are at Seattle Center. Tower Records closed down but has been replaced by the very similar Silver Platters. That year you could visit the Sci-Fi Museum separate from Experience Music Project in the same complex, but that is no longer the case.]

[UPDATE November 30, 2012: The KCTS 9 Store is now online only.]

Seattle Trip 2006 Day 2 Saturday July 29

[1st “NOW” paragraph]

[NOW: The stadium I was referring to is Qwest Field. Some of the tape might have actually been for the Torchlight Parade but I’m not sure. I’ve since switched from film to digital camera. The Barnes & Noble described above is the one at Pacific Place, but I think I did end up getting stuff there; see day 4.]

[UPDATE November 30, 2012: Qwest Field is now called CenturyLink Field, though the locals call it the CLink.]

[3rd “NOW” paragraph]

[NOW: Alki Beach is in West Seattle.  I believe the Statue of Liberty was gone that year. That version got too damaged so I new one got made and placed in a more protected display. I also saw the Alki Bathhouse and the Alki Art Fair. I don’t recall seeing the Birthplace of Seattle marker that year but may have.]

[UPDATE November 30, 2012: The Bathhouse is just a small building, not currently used for bathing if it ever was.]

Seattle Trip 2006 Day 3 Sunday July 30

[original 3rd paragraph]
Rode bus to Flight Museum.  Bought a daypass, but because I got on during free zone, had to wait for bus to reach the museum to get it.  Museum opened half hour later than guidebooks claimed.  Museum was very impressive.  They had WW1 and 2 exhibits (no mention of Canada though).  A replica of a modern jet allowed people to sit down inside).

{Flight Museum amended to the Museum of Flight.}

[4th “NOW” paragraph]

[NOW: The park is Volunteer Park and the dome is called the Observation Tower.  Broadway has since become a bit less of a gay district but it still probably wouldn’t be an ideal play for people who don’t like gays/lesbians. The video store was Gruv, which only recently closed down.]

[UPDATE November 30, 2012: Thinking of it further I probably got the Troma DVDs at both Gruv and at Everyday Music, which has moved three times since. I also visited the now defunct Bailey/Coy Books on Broadway.]

[6th “NOW” paragraph]
[NOW: I think that was a book I got at Arundel Books. I could have sworn that it was a Superman book that I bought through, the Krypton Companion.]
[UPDATE November 30, 2012: Arundel Books has since moved.]

Seattle Trip 2006 Day 4 Monday July 31

[1st “NOW” paragraph]
[NOW: I think I confused Borders and Barnes & Noble here and possibly in earlier reports. If so, the photos I took were probably of the penguin statue made of scrap metal.]

[UPDATE November 30, 2012: That being the case, the Barnes & Noble at Park Place is still around. However, the downtown Seattle Borders, like the rest of the franchise, is gone.]

Seattle Trip 2006 Day 5 Tuesday August 1

[original 2nd paragraph]
Took a 5:30 am ferry to Bainbridge, which cost $6.50 this end (again, free other way), then to Poulsbo.  Could have gotten a slightly later ferry and made the same connections, but part of me was "going native" so decided to make myself leave sooner rather than later.

[UPDATE November 30, 2012: The ferry was Washington State Ferries. The bus to Poulsbo was the 91 Kitsap Transit.]

[original 3rd paragraph]
Not much to see at Poulsbo exchange but walked around anyway.  I almost missed a bus leaving from Port Townsend.  Seems they don't always connect at the Port Townsend exchange when the Poulsbo bus is late.  I got off the bus in time to catch the bus leaving Port Townsend.  I did a brief bit of shopping in Sequim (almost leaving my package behind; sleepy).  Bussed to Port Angeles and worked out how to kill a couple hours while loaded down.  I love Port Angeles but this time just wanted to get home.

{Poulsbo exchange amended to Poulsbo Transfer Center.]

[1st “NOW” paragraph]

[NOW: What is the case now and may have even been the case then is the 8 bus to Sequim leaves Port Townsend before the 7 bus arrives at that time of the day. You’re supposed to make the connection at Four Corners.]

[UPDATE November 30, 2012: The 7 and 8 are both Jefferson Transit. I should have also noted above that the bus to Port Angeles is the 30 Commuter/Clallum Transit.]

Toronto Trip June 2012 Retro-Itinerary



This is the itinerary I used for my Toronto trip (beyond minor formatting differences).  Updated info indicated by NOW in brackets.  Note that I didn’t follow this itinerary word for word. Abbreviations as per the original itinerary for archive purposes.]

500s/sc= screetcar Subways: BD = Bloor-Danforth YUS=Yonge-University-Spadina Scar=Scarborough Stn=Station
Tuesday June 5 Arrival
Pack pjs, cancel Flickr uploads if needed, turn off computer
Akal Dalton 4:15 --> Victoria Airport 5:00
Air Canada Victoria Airport 6:45 --> Pearson Airport Terminal 1 2:10
192 same 3:01 -->Kipling Stn 3:22 WEEK PASS!
BD same E 3:28-->Dufferin Stn E 3:43-->Aidan, random explore
Wednesday June 6 Toronto
Walk/if open: Miller, Sonic, Queen, Seekers, Book C, BMV, Labyrinth,
  Willow’s, Theatrebooks, Bay St, HMV, Sunrise
BD Yonge Stn 11:02 --> Broadview Stn 11:06
Walk/BD Mike’s, Book City, Re-Reading, Circus, Comics & More
BD Greenwood Stn 12:01 --> Main St Stn 12:06
64 same 12:15-->Wineva Ave/Queen St E 12:25-->Galactic H, Planet X, Book C
501 shuttle Queen St E/Elmer Ave E 1:05 --> Eastern Ave/Knox Ave 1:11
Film Buff, Groove, Discover, Ric’s, 6 Shooter
Walk/72A Carlaw Ave/Queen St E 2:04 --> Carlaw Ave/Gerrard St Fireside 2:10 
Jumbo Video, Atomic?
506 Gerrard St E/Marjory Ave 2:34 --> College St/Queen’s Park 2:52
BD Queen’s Park Stn S 2:58 --> Osgoode Stn S 3:00
Walk/sc Kop’s, BMV, Penguin, HMV, Snail, Queen, Slinky, Cosmos,
  Neurotica, Cosmos, Frantic, Eyesore, Rotate, 2Q, Type, Ayerego
501 Queen St W/Shaw 4:02 --> Queen St W/Ohara 4:09 --> River, 724
47 MacDonnell Ave/Queen St W 4:31 --> Lansdowne Ave/College St 4:36
506 College St/Lansdowne Ave 4:43 --> College St/Rusholme Rd 4:46
Walk/sc Queen, Fiends, Ammo, Soundscapes, Balfour, She, Denison, Sonic,
  Around Again, Little Video, Police
On Yonge: NDJ, Hairy, Play, Sunrise, Rock, HMV, BMV, World’s, Dundas
YUS Dundas Stn E 6:45-->King Stn E 6:47 then walk/sc HMW, Walk, Art?
504 King St W/Niagara 7:16 --> King St W/University Ave 7:24
YUS St Andrew Stn S 7:30 --> Wellesley Stn N 7:38 --> One Million, Refried,
  Eliot’s, ABC, then reverse of start, Suspect, Beguiling, 2Q, Zoinks
[NOW: Galactic Heroes is apparently the current Planet X. Ric’s Collectibles, Jumbo Video, Ammo Video, Film Fiends, Marquee Video are gone.]]
Thursday June 7 Hamilton/Burlington/Oakville
BD Dufferin Stn E 7:09 --> Yonge Stn E 7:16
YUS Bloor Stn S 7:20 --> Union Stn N 7:28 Get daypass
16 Union Stn 8:00 --> Hamilton Go Centre 9:05
Get daypass from one of the King St convenience stores --> Copps Coliseum
35 McNab St S/Main St W (Platform 6) 9:40 --> Upper James/Delta 10:03
Beat, Video Squared
Walk/27 Upper James/Stone Church 10:24 --> Upper James/Aldridge 10:26
Big G Comics, Steel City Video
35 West 5th/Mohawk 10:49 --> McNab Platform 6 11:05
10 King/Hughson 11:07-->Main/Longwood 11:14-->Prince,Comic C,Bkw,Cons Walk/10 Main/Dundurn 11:43 --> Main/Queen 11:46 or
1 Main/Macklin 11:47 --> Main/Hess 11:52
Reigning, Ritz, Select, Mikes, Moon, Allan, Cheapies, Video Store
3 Hamilton Go Centre 17 1:30 --> Cannon/Ottawa 1:46 --> Moon, Stardust, Steel
10 Main/Ottawa 2:14 --> Eastgate Platform 7 2:25
56 Eastgate Platform 2 2:30 --> Van Wagner’s Beach 2:40 --> Wild Waterworks
11 Beach/Van Wagners Beach 3:05 -->  Burlington Terminal 3:24 Get transfer
Drummer, Looney, Book Nook
3 Downtown Bus Terminal 4:00 --> Guelph Line & Fairview St 4:09
Walk/1 east: Beat, Cinema 1?,Appleby; west: Conspiracy
12 Go train Burlington Go Stn 5:37 --> Oakville Go Stn 5:54
Treasure, All, Village, Bookers, Second, Solomon, Good
12 Go train Oakville Go Stn 7:28 --> Union Stn 8:11
YUS Union Stn N 8:21  --> Bloor Stn N 8:28
BD Yonge Stn W 8:34 --> Dufferin Stn 8:42
[NOW: Video Squared, Upper James’ Steel City Video, Reigning South, Puttin on the Ritz, Mike’s World of Books, Video Store, downtown Under the Moon, all the places listed for Oakville are gone.]
Friday June 8 Toronto
BD Dufferin Stn E 9:12 --> Kennedy Stn Subway 9:43
Scar Kennedy Rt Stn N 9:50-->Scarborough Centre Rt Stn E 9:59--> HMV
190 same 10:22 --> Sheppard Ave E/Kennedy Rd 10:29
43 Kennedy Rd/Sheppard Ave E 10:36-->Kennedy Rd/Antrim Cres 10:40-->Deja  43 same 10:57 --> Kennedy Rd/Steeles Ave E 11:12
53 Steeles Ave E/Kennedy Rd 11:23 --> Yonge St/Steeles Ave W Farside 11:49
Hairy, Wizard, Pars, Book Shoppe
YUS Finch Stn S 12:51 --> Sheppard-Yonge Stn S 12:54 --> Sunrise
YUS same 1:08 --> Eglinton Stn S 1:17 -->BMV Books
YUS same 1:30 --> St Clair Stn S 1:34 --> Book City
512 St Clair Ave W/Yonge St 1:50 --> St Clair Ave W/Vaughan Rd 2:01
Captain Video, Video 99 then walk/512 2Q
63 Oakwood Ave/St Clair Ave W 2:39 --> Ossington Ave/Dupont St 2:44
26 Dupont St/Ossington Ave 2:51 --> Annette St/Keele St 3:00
Pandemonium, Hairy?, Big Daddy, Book Exchange, Dencan
26 Annette St/Clendenan Ave 4:02 --> Jane Station 4:10
BD same W 4:14 --> Royal York Stn W 4:18 --> Excalibur
BD same E 4:34 --> Dufferin E Stn 4:45 --> Drop off stuff, random
[NOW:  The stores listed north of Finch Station are gone except maybe Pars Video.]
Saturday June 9 Oshawa/Milton
BD Dufferin Stn E 7:25 --> Yonge Stn E 7:34
YUS Bloor Stn S 7:39 --> Union Stn N 7:46 Get daypass
90 Go Train Union Go Stn 8:13 --> Oshawa Go Stn 9:08
90 Go Bus Oshawa Go Stn 9:13 --> King/Centre 9:23
Self, Star, Comic Alley, Worlds Collide, Skyfox, Sunshine, Mike’s, Deja, HMV
Time permitting: Half Price, Gnu, Video King (Map 261), Mike’s, Deja
94 Oshawa Bus Terminal Bond/Centre 11:53 --> Dundas/Brock 12:07
Greenlight, Hollywood, Comic Book Addiction
90 Go Train Whitby Go Station 12:47 --> Union Go Stn 1:40
21B Union Stn 2:00 --> Milton Go, Main & Thompson 3:02
ToyRatt, Kymbits, Recycled, Super A?, Home Cinema?
21B Milton Go 4:25 --> Meadowvale Go 4:55
21P Meadowvale Go 4:55 --> Square One 5:30 --> Starstruck, Planet Hobby
21 Square One Go Terminal --> 6:10 -->Union Stn 6:50
YUS Union Stn N 7:04 --> St George St N 7:11
BD same W 7:15 --> Dufferin Stn W 7:24
[NOW: Morgan Self Bookseller, Video King, Kymbits are gone.]
Sunday June 10 Toronto
BD Dufferin Stn E 9:22 --> Yonge Stn E 9:31
YUS Bloor Stn S 9:35 --> Union Stn N 9:42
Centre Island Ferry Harbour Square 10:00 --> Centre Island FT 10:15
Centre Island Ferry/Ward’s Island Ferry at FT 3:45 --> Harbour Square 4:00
or Hanlan’s Point Ferry Hanlan’s Point FT 3:30 --> Harbour Square 3:45
Rachel 
Walk/6 Bay St/Queen’s Quay W 4:10--> Bay St/King St W 4:19
504 King St W/Bay St 4:27 --> Queen St E/Broadview 4:36
501 shuttle same 4:45 --> Queen St E/Lee Ave 5:01
64 Hambly Ave/Queen St E 7:10 --> Main St Stn 7:20
BD same W 7:26 --> Dufferin Stn W 7:47
Monday June 11 Montreal
29D Dufferin St/Bloor St W 5:27 --> Dufferin St/Dundas St W 5:30
505 Dundas St W/Dufferin St 5:38 --> Dundas St W/Bay St 5:52
Megabus Toronto Coach Terminal 6:30 --> Montreal Bus Terminal 12:15
Call Teresa, get daypass
Colisée/livre,Libr Québécoise,Bout Vol,R Bray,Superclub Videotron,Old Mont
Montmorency Metro Place D’Armees --> Cartier 24m --> cross Pont Viau
Cote-Vertu Metro Henri-Bourassa --> Station Mont-Royal
11 same-->Remembranc/Chemin du Chalet-->Chalet du Mt Royal 12m-->reverse
Cote-Vertu Metro  Station Mont-Royal --> Berri
Walk/Angrignon Metro Berri --> Saint Laurent --> check-in, then reverse
Longueil Metro Berri --> Jean-Drapeau --> Expo 67 site/Biosphere --> Longueil
Berri Metro Longeuil --> Berri --> explore randomly
Tuesday June 12 Montreal/Toronto
Megabus Berri Stn 9:30 --> Toronto Coach Terminal 3:15
YUS Dundas Stn N 3:33 --> Bloor Stn N 3:37
BD Yonge Stn W 3:43 --> Dufferin Stn W 3:51
Drop off stuff, explore randomly; maybe revisit CBC Museum
Wednesday June 13 Buffalo/Niagara Falls NY& ON
BD Dufferin Stn E 6:07 --> Yonge Stn E 6:16
YUS Bloor Stn S 6:22 --> Dundas Stn S 6:25
Megabus Toronto Coach Terminal 7:00 --> Buffalo Bus Terminal 9:40
Buffalo City Hall Observation Tower, Ride train, Pierce-Arrow Museum?
40A Ellicott St & Clinton St 1:00-->Rainbow Blvd & Niagara St 1:55
Cross Rainbow Bridge c2:45
Maid of the Mist, Journey Behind the Falls, White Water Walk, Neutral Zone,
 Clifton Hill, Page One Books; then Falls and Clifton Hill/night
Thursday June 14 Niagara Falls ON/Toronto/Home
Clifton Hill and Falls one last time
Arrive Niagara Falls Bus Terminal c10:45
Megabus 11:15 --> Toronto Coach Terminal 1:20 --> lunch
YUS Dundas Stn N 2:03 --> Bloor Stn N 2:07
BD Yonge Stn W 2:13 --> Dufferin Stn W 2:21 --> Aidan and/or explore area
BD Dufferin Stn 3:37 --> Kipling Stn 3:54
192 Kipling Stn 4:02 --> Pearson Airport Terminal 1 4:23
Air Canada Pearson Airport Terminal 1 6:05 --> Victoria Airport 8:05
83 Victoria Airport 8:22 maybe --> McTavish 8:26
72 McTavish 8:51/9:19 --> Downtown c9:35/10:03

Thursday, November 29, 2012

10 Free Places to Visit in Toronto



All the below can be done for free, though some may require a hike if you don’t have bus/train fare:

  1. High Park: Huge park, complete with petting zoo
  2. CBC Museum.:  Not the largest museum, but there’s a few neat things there, especially if you grew up with shows like the Friendly Giant
  3. Bellevue/Denison Square: Has a statue of the great actor Al Waxman
  4. Christie Pits Park: Not a lot of trees, but a nice open field to relax at
  5. Dundas Square: Lots of neon, frequently changing exhibits (sometimes in the same day), some live performances, sometimes you see the water jets
  6. Area outside Old and New City Hall: there’s a fountain that  people can skate on in the inter; another place for musical shows
  7. Canadian Walk of Fame: On King St is a strip of squares with names of Canadian celebrities, often with their autographs
  8. Eaton Centre: Probably the largest mall in Toronto proper with nice décor. Obviously it costs money to buy stuff but not to walk around
  9. PATH: Underground shopping area. Handy during bad weather.
  10. The Beaches neighbourhood: Aside from shopping this is, yes, where you’ll find most of the city’s beaches

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Toronto Trip June 2012 Day 10 Thursday June 14



This is the tenth and last of a series of posts dealing with my second and most recent trip to Toronto. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports.  Due to how recent the trip was, there are only minimal updates to report.

Forgot to mention: saw a flock of eagles flying over the river en route to the hostel yesterday; maybe even they're impressed by the view

I got up early and walked back to the falls to get some final photos.  It seems that all the camera work there is regarding the guy crossing the Canadian Horseshoe falls tomorrow.  A CityTV guy interviewed me "man on the street" style so I might be on the news. If you do see me let me know.  He asked me what I thought (it was a bit unusual but if he does it more power to him), if I thought he was actually going to do it (I don't know him well enough to answer that), if he was crazy for doing so (well, aren't we all a bit crazy?), and where I'm from (Victoria BC).  I think answering early in the morning might help my chances; my answers were thus shorter, better for sound bytes.

[NOW: No luck there.]

It was also nice only seeing a few people around. A lot easier to get around without bumping into anyone.  Once again there as some rain localized to the Canadian Horseshoe falls; so the falls themselves must be causing the rain.

I walked to Clifton Hill for some final photos of the tacky area of the town and grabbed a small frozen lemonade from Tim Horton's.  I also got photos of some dinosaurs at the Dinosaur Golf Park getting a paint touch-up.

I then walked back to the hostel, seeing a lot of squirrels along a nature path.  When I reached an area with lots of trees I heard a loud rustling sound. It turned out to be the largest squirrel I've ever seen carrying a paper bag up a tree.

At the hostel I had a small breakfast (a couple muffins and a slice of bread).  

A big day today for me, so I'm off!
[NOW: The above was written in the morning; the rest I wrote the next day.]

I left my watch by the hostel computer the night before but luckily the manager found it. I walked to the downtown area.  A comic store normally open at 10 was open at 12:30 that day. Another was opening up at 10:30 but I managed to get a peek and decided it wasn't worth risking by bus over.

It seems that Megabus Canada is either part of or has a deal with Coach Canada because that bus turned up instead, So in some cases like Niagara Falls you *can* buy a ticket in person but only at the Coach Canada rate (if it's a real Megabus, it's strictly online booking). Luckily I figured that out.  An accident slowed things down just as I was arriving in Toronto but I still made it in at a decent time. I met up with Aidan downtown; we grabbed lunch at a hot dog stand outside the bus terminal and ate at Dundas Square. We parted company then I checked out the so Called World's Biggest Bookstore and BMV Books on Edward St before heading up Yonge. I bought DVDs at Sunrise Records, visited NDJ Books and ABC Books and bought more DVDS at another Sunrise Records. Turning left on Bloor, I walked to Zoinks and bought I comic collection I'd been considering since the first day). I grabbed some vanilla Coke at a convenience store near Aidan's place and then grabbed my stuff and tried to repack by weight.

I bought a subway token. I had trouble getting my stuff through, but a voice from some speaker (probably from a very remote location) told me that a door would be unlocked so I could get my last bag through. I took the westbound BD to Kipling Station.  There, making sure I was getting on the 192 Rocket bus to the airport and not the 191 Rocket to Humbert College, I arrived at the airport. When I checked in, I allowed part of the bag to rest on the metal and not the conveyor belt because I knew my bag was pushing things in terms of weight and figured the scale was probably on the belt. Once I got my ticket I left before anyone noticed that my bag was probably overweight. I wanted to ride the free tram connecting  terminals but I had cut things too close to get those aerial photos so after passing through security I grabbed dinner at the A&W by my gate.

The skies were mostly clear on the way back until around Alberta. The plane landed and while I was too late to catch the transit bus to McTavish Par & Ride, I had a slight chance of getting the 72 just after it left there. The weather wasn't as good as the Golden Horseshoe area, but it was still nice enough to skip the Airporter. I passed two women. A woman in a car offered the free of us a ride to the nearest bus stuff. The two women declined, wanting to enjoy the walk, but given how heavy my stuff was, I couldn't decline.  When the 72 bus arrived at my stop, I saw the two women in the background, so far for the bus to wait for them, so I'd have had to have run really fast to make this connection. Easy enough without my stuff, but the DVDs, hardcovers, etc were a game changer.  Finally made it home. Part of the work I wanted done while away was done but some wasn't.  There was a phone call from Wed from someone wanting help with their yard. I decided that since I was already a day late anyway, I could call them later today instead, not up to any phone calls that night.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Toronto Trip June 2012 Day 9 Wednesday June 13



This is the ninth of a series of posts dealing with my second and most recent trip to Toronto. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports.  Due to how recent the trip was, there is only one update to note below.

Got in a bit later than expected after a late under the wire meet with my long time friends Dave and Jan.  Then the next morning got up early and took the 300C bus along Bloor to Yonge, then the YUS to Dundas, where I visited Dundas Square before going to the bus depot.

I waited for the Montreal bus to lave and then grabbed the front of the line. However it was a single-decker and a bus driver was riding the bus so i still didn't get a front seat anyway.

The bus was supposed to arrive at the Buffalo bus depot at 9:40 but only arrived at the border then so arrived almost exactly an hour late. On the plus side, I was the first off the bus at Customs and I had my documents together in a bag, so I was also the first person to be cleared.  I'd take boredom over that kind of stress any day.  I can't say that I was too impressed with Buffalo.  It seemed kind of rundown, even the newer looking buildings.

I grabbed a late breakfast at Tim Horton's; a Tim Horton's in the US is so wrong I just had to eat there.  I then walked to the courthouse after a brief stop at a convention centre when I grabbed a free magazine with a map.  The info guy there recommended a tour of the courthouse so time was tight so I opted just for the free observation deck.  The courthouse's free observation deck is on the 28th floor, so if you do visit Buffalo it's pretty much a must-do.  Easily the highlight of that part of the day.

I wandered around and checked a few convenience stores, grabbing a pop and a DVD at Walgreen's; along the way I saw a couple funny signs: "Buffalo Small Animal Care", "Trinity Ave/One Way".  I rode the light rail in the free area a little.  When the doors open, steps unfold.  At one stop I asked someone if the bus I needed stopped there she wasn't sure; it turned out it did but that's fine because i ended up getting it at an earlier stop.

I took the 40A to Niagara Falls NY; someone was sitting behind me so my bag was warming me to the point of nearly nodding off.  I grabbed a drink at 7-11 and then headed to the falls; an observation deck nearby was closed; it's also free when open.  Got some nice shots of the falls and the area behind the US one.  A platform hanging over the river that was free in March 2011 cost $1 this time, probably because it shares its space with the US Maid of the Mist.

I crossed the Rainbow Bridge (grey coloured) to Niagara Falls, ON, clearing customs; they didn't ask if I bought anything.  Even those it meant losing out on an attraction on my Adventure Pass that I wasn't that interested in (a movie called Niagara's Fury; it ended at 4 today and only started at 10:30 am tomorrow), I next walked to the hostel to drop off my stuff.  Cash only.

i walked further north to the White Water Walk, one of the attractions included with the pass. It was decent, powerful rapids.

I took a shuttle also included in the pass to the Canadian Maid of the Mist (part of the pass), choosing the top floor/open air. Someone got married on the boat before it took off.  There was no baggage storage so when it was time to switch to a cheaper camera as the boat got closer to the falls, I had to really protect my good camera and make sure it didn't get wet. I think though even the cheap camera survived.

I walked along Clinton Hill, where all the tacky attractions are (eg Guinness Book of World Records Museum, Movieland wax museum, Haunted Castle, etc; I ate a very late lunch (5ish) at the Burger King with the sign of the Frankenstein Monster holding a Whopper.  I walked to Lundy's Lane where I checked out a pawn shop and a comic shop, then headed back to the falls, getting turned around once or twice, which dehydrated me, an issue because there's no water fountains in the area.  I used my pass on Journey behind the Falls. There are two windows behind the Canadian falls, but it's actually an observation area beside the falls that's most impressive.  Curiously it was raining at the Canadian falls area only (also during the later visit below)

i went off in search of water from more to know avail, checking out shops along the way. i had a late dinner at the Tim Horton's on Clifton Hill (including what I thought was a Slurpee drink but turned out to be an iced coffee). I took some early sundown photos of Clifton Hill, some sundown/night photos of the falls (walking around some barriers; I think some filming was happening; the American falls had multi-coloured lights. Then I returned to the hostel.

[NOW: The filming was for someone crossing the Falls, which happened some time the next day after I left town].

Sunday, November 25, 2012

10 Canadian Series on DVD



Not intended to be complete

  1. The Amazing Kreskin:  Best Moments of set with ESP accessories
  2. Bizarre: 10 Best of discs
  3. Blood Ties: Both seasons
  4. Due South: all four seasons
  5. Forever Knight: all three seasons
  6. John Woo’s Once a Thief: entire season
  7. King of Kensington: first season
  8. Nikita: all 5 seasons (listed under the American name, La Femme Nikita)
  9. Royal Canadian Air Farce: various non-seasonal DVDs 
  10. This Hour has 22 Minutes: first two seasons

Saturday, November 24, 2012

12 Famous Hollywood People who Appeared in Troma Movies



In some cases the movies became Troma after the fact, but these are all part of Troma’s library

  1. Kevin Costner (actor, Bull Durham; actor/director, Dances with Wolves): started out in Sizzle Beach USA
  2. Vincent D’Onofrio (actor, Full Metal Jacket, Law & Order: Criminal Intent): started out in The First Turn-On!!
  3. Corey Feldman (actor, The Bad News Bears series, Friday the 13th IV-V): appeared after he was famous in Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV
  4. Jorge Garcia (actor, Lost, Alcatraz): early role in Tales from the Crapper
  5. James Gunn (writer: Scooby-Doo, Dawn of the Dead remake): acting debut in Tromeo & Juliet, which he also wrote; also in Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV, LolliLove
  6. Samuel L. Jackson (actor, Pulp Fiction, Avengers): appeared somewhat early on in Def by Temptation
  7. Ron Jeremy (while a porn star, has appeared in Boondock Saints, Rules of Attraction): has appeared in numerous Troma movies starting with Class of Nuke ‘Em High 3: The Good, the Bad, and the Subhumanoid
  8. Trey Parker (writer/director/actor: South Park): appeared early on in Cannibal! The Musical, which he directed and was the main writer for
  9. Matt Stone (writer/director/actor: South Park): appeared early on in Cannibal! The Musical, which he contributed to the writing of
  10. Oliver Stone (writer/director, Platoon, Wall Street):  acting debut in The Battle of Love’s Return
  11. Billy Bob Thornton (actor/director: Sling Blade; actor: Monster’s Ball): appeared early on in Chopper Chicks in Zombietown
  12. Marisa Tomei (actress, The Wrestler): started out as an extra in The Toxic Avenger

Friday, November 23, 2012

10 Memorable Aspects of Legends of the Superheroes




These were two specials involving DC heroes that aired in 1979. As with the Star Wars Holiday Special, this list is not meant to be complete.

  1. Sivana pretending to be a real doctor who helps out Captain Marvel in the middle of nowhere
  2. Mickey Morton, previously scene as a female Wookie in the Star Wars Holiday Special, playing the definitive dense Solomon Grundy
  3. The villains’ plans to destroy the Earth in the first special without any consideration to how that would leave them afterwards
  4. Retired Man
  5. Ghetto Man in the second part
  6. Batman and Robin doing a comedy routine in the second part due to Robin’s reluctance to tell Batman something
  7. Hawkman’s Jewish mother in the second part
  8. The entire second part being a roast, including villains who attempted genocide in the first part being casually allowed into the heroes’ headquarters
  9. Mordru singing That’s Entertainment in the second part
  10. Second part host Ed McMahan flying off

10 Memorable Aspects of the Star Wars Holiday Special



This is not meant to be a complete list, just the ten that immediately jump to mind. This isn a real special that aired in 1978.

  1. Chewbecca’s father Itchy having a virtual reality fantasy involving Diahann Carroll
  2. The lengthy sequence near the beginning done in Wookie talk with no sub-titles
  3. Chewbecca’s son Lumpy watching hologram toys with a look that could either be fascination or a desire to smash them
  4. Chewbecca’s wife Malla (played by a guy) wearing an apron and watching a cooking show by a four-armed woman (also a guy – Harvey Korman)
  5. Imperial Forces being distracted by a Jefferson Starship video
  6. Boba Fett’s actual first appearance (so not counting retroactive additions to A New Hope)
  7. Art Carney repeatedly showing up as a family friend to the Wookies
  8. Most major Star Wars characters showing up in pairs for just one scene before reappearing as a group at the end (well, obviously Darth Vader doesn’t hang with the gang at the end)
  9. Beatrice Arthur sending people away from the Cantina singing words to the Cantina Song (despite being in space the Cantina apparently does have a closing time0
  10. Princess Leia singing the Star Wars theme at the end, again with words added just for the special

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

10 Marvel Characters Who’ve Been Decapitated



Ten characters who died a quick but gruesome death (or near death). Happily most seem to have otten through the experience okay in the end:

  1. Baron Blood (John Falsworth). First Appeared in Invaders#7 July 1976. Decapitated by Captain America#254 February 1981 RESURRECTED
  2. Draconis. First Appeared in Blade#7 May 2007. Decapitated by Blade in Blade#8 June 2007. RESURRECTED
  3. Cameron Hodge. First Appeared in X-Factor#1 February 1986. Decapitated by Archangel in X-Factor#34 November 1988. SURVIVED
  4. Gabe Jones. First Appeared in Sgt. Fury#1 May 1963. Decapitated by Gorgon in Secret Warriors#19 August 2010
  5. Daniel Kingsley ("Hobgoblin") First Appeared as Roderick Kingsley In Amazing Spider-Man#249 February 1984 and as Daniel in Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives!#1 January 1997. Decapitated by Phil Urich (believing him to be his brother Roderick, whom he often posed as) in Amazing Spider-Man #649 January 2011
  6. Morgan le Fay. Marvelversion first appeared in Black Knight#1 May 1955 (historical) or Spider-Woman#2 May 1978. Decapitated by Sentry in Dark Avengers#2  March 2009. SURVIVED
  7. Loki. First Appeared in Venus#6 August 1949 (Historical) or Journey into Mystery#85 October 1962 (current form). Decapitated by Balder in Thor#344 June 1984 SURVIVED. Decapitated again by Thor in Thor#84 November 2004. RESURRECTED
  8. Sabretooth (Victor Creed) First Appeared in Iron Fist#14 1977. Decapitated by Wolverine in Wolverine#55 September 2007. RESURRECTED
  9. Sabretooth (Victor Creed; Ultimate) First Appeared in Ultimate Marvel Team-Up#1 April 2001. Decapitated by Wolverine (Ultimate) in Ultimate X-Men#30 May 2003. SURVIVED
  10. Super Sabre (Martin Fletcher) First Appeared in Uncanny X-Men#215 March 1987. Decapitated by Aminedi in New Mutants Annual#7 1991. RESURRECTED