I'M FEELING LAZY AND UNPRODUCTIVE.What can I say? July has always been a summer doldrums month for me when it comes to blogging, and I'm feeling it especially bad this year, for reasons I already said in my previous entry... a week ago. Damn, where did that week go?
One thing about the Montreal entry is that it's becoming too much like a major university assignment, the kind of writing that I keep on putting off completing (yes, I have started on it), but, the more I procrastinate, the more formidable a task actually writing it seems to become in my mind. I'll try and finish it this weekend.
But I have been keeping busy, getting exercise with almost daily walks to and from Merivale for various odds and ends, and I've finally officially started on that drawing based on this photo of London's Admiralty Arch and the southeastern corner of Trafalgar Square that I took in England in July 2000 that I've been talking about since last year.
Anyway, Friday evening, I journeyed over to Bayshore Shopping Centre to purchase a birthday present for my younger brother, Nick, who, and this is the second thing this month, the first being becoming an uncle for the first time, making me feel much too old now, is turning 30, and he's in town this weekend to look for an apartment.
Let's make a quick and dirty blog entry based on some photos I took.
Here's the Bayshore OC Transpo Transitway stop at dusk. Usually, when I take a picture of a structure being shadowed by the sun like this, I colour adjust it to try and salvage what detail I can, but, this time, it kind of works as a dramatic shot "as is", with the evening sun shining through the overhead walkway. I like it.
Before I went shopping, I thought I'd check out the parking lot in my continual photographic safari for the elusive Italian Ferrari.
I wish I had a goldfish in a plastic bag, just so I could re-enact one of the all-time greatest Seinfeld episodes, when they couldn't find Elaine's car in "The Parking Garage". I suppose I could always have faked taking a leak like Jerry, to pay tribute to that episode, but public urination doesn't really translate well to a self-pic, unless I was brave enough to show my wang. And I'm not.
I didn't see any (real) Ferraris, but I did see this new-style Chevrolet Corvette that's the exact damn same colour as this cheap $1.95 Maisto toy Corvette I bought at Zellers the other day.
Honestly, I don't get the point of the escalator at Bayshore that goes straight from the first to third floor... is transferring between the escalators that much of a chore? And does this make all of the stores on the second floor pariah stores that Bayshore is ashamed of? And, if it's for convenience, why isn't there a similar express escalator going down? So, to shop at Bayshore most efficiently, you have to plan out in advance to shop on the first, then the third, and then the second floor?
Just a gratuitous "Me at Bayshore" self-pic.
I should have taken a picture of the Games Workshop store, since that's where I bought my present for Nick, who's been into the Warhammer RPG since at least 1990. (He especially likes painting the lead figurines.) I know nothing of Warhammer and I didn't want to spend an hour squinting at nearly-identical boxes to find whichever exact conflaguration it is of orcs and golems it is that currently rings his bell, ao I pointed out the three Warhammer items on his list to the clerk, who promptly brought back not-too-big boxes that were somehow priced from $35 to $45 Canadian each, and I chose... well, better not say since he might read this. But Warhammer has mecha now? How dare they steal elements from MY geek interest for HIS geek interest! (Yes, I'm being facetious, I know there were mechanized/robotized armoured humanoid suits in science-fiction, like in Robert Heinlein's original Starship Troopers novels, years before the Japanese ever thought of putting them in anime.)
By the way, speaking of anime in relation to Warhammer, and this is something I've wondered for a while. I'm not an anime fan who overstates the popularity of anime in North America. I know it's a niche interest, I know the vast majority of North American adults are not and will not ever be into anime, and I doubt that most of the people who enjoyed, or are enjoying, Dragonball Z, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Naruto, Inu-Yasha and the like as children will grow up to be anime fans as adults. But, surely, by now, anime is less niche an interest than is Warhammer. So, how exactly is it that Games Workshop, a store that is basically the retail arm of the Warhammer franchise, is able to afford the huge cost of renting retail space at Bayshore, the destination shopping centre for all of west Ottawa? It sure looks out of place amongst the more typical destination mall tenants: Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Danier Leather, and the like.
I guess having the license to produce Lord of the Rings board games and figurines is gold for them.
I think the closest thing that anime fans in Ottawa have to a speciality store is The Comic Book Shoppe, whose primary location is in the Bleeker Street mall on Clyde, a low-rent strip mall on the northern fringes of the Merivale shopping drag. (Not that I mind their location one bit, since it's within walking distance from my house.) I suppose it's probably better for anime fans, since, if they were in Bayshore, everything would probably be $10 more expensive just to pay for the rent.
Hmm... it has been a while since I last ate KFC at a mall. Last year, the "medium" drink they had with their combo meals was actually... medium. Now the "medium" seems to be almost kid-sized. Has KFC caved in to the jackboots of the Morgan Spurlock nanny state nutrition gestapo?
I took a few external night shots.
Here's The Bay, looking towards the parking garage (well, another part of the parking garage, since I was taking this from the parking garage) and the Bayshore Transitway stop.
Another regret is that I didn't get a good shot of the exterior of the Bayshore shopping centre, but you really have to cross the Queensway to get a good angle on it. Taking a picture of the mall from the Transitway stop is fairly useless, since the parking garage is in the way.
A really lovely shot of an OC Transpo bus (I think it's an Orion) taken from the overhead walkway.
More buses, and an OC Transpo maintenance truck with its lights flashing.
Oh, also, at the Bayshore Zellers, I bought for myself a cheap-but-not-too-shabby-for-the-price 1:24th scale Ferrari 550 Maranello model from Maisto, a Thai company that's beginning to take a lot of Canadian retail shelf-space away from the large collector-sized Mattel Hot Wheels model cars. The weird thing about their Ferrari models is that they don't sell them "finished" the way the Mattel Hot Wheels "Elite" Ferrari models are (or how every other model car Maisto sells is). The parts are pre-painted and everything, but you have to snap them into place and then screw the top of the car to the chassis yourself, hence the name "Assembly Line models". It's not much work for an adult. What I suspect is going on is that Maisto couldn't afford or wasn't able to get the Ferrari license for finished model cars, due to companies like Mattel, Ixo, and BBR models already having the finished model license for various parts of the world, but they can get a license to sell a "kit" more easily, but they make the "kit" infinitely easier to assemble than the traditional Revell or Tamiya plastic model kits, where all of the parts come on plastic racks and you have to be very careful not to snap important parts (the way I never could quite finish a model of Natsumi and Miyuki's Honda Today that I started on over four years ago, because I snapped part of the suspension that held one of the wheels in place and will have to jury-rig something just so that they can drive something with four wheels) and you have to paint it yourself (I kept the lines even on the Honda Today using masking tape, but the paint job is all lumpy) and stick those annoying tiny decals that you soak in water just to get free (and I lost several of those for the Honda Today because I don't have microscopic vision). The Ferrari 550 kit had a few stickers, but they're the regular "peel-off" kind.
I think the 550 Maranello is a very underrated Ferrari. It's got the curves of the 360 Modena (yes, I know it predates the Modena by a couple of years), but the vents on the side remind me of a shark. In this montage photo showing the six different scale of Ferrari models that I have, it's the second-biggest.
(From smallest to biggest: a Mattel Hot Wheels Micro Mini (about 1:108 scale) Ferrari Testarossa, a regular (1:64 scale) Hot Wheels Ferrari 430 Spider, a 1:43 scale Ixo/Mattel Hot Wheels Ferrari 360 Modena Spider, a 1:39 scale Maisto Ferrari F-512 TR (a revamped Testarossa), the 1:24 scale Maisto Ferrari 550 Maranello I just bought, and the 1:18 scale Hot Wheels "Elite" Ferrari F-355 (being driven by a G.I. Joe action figure of former Chicago Bears defensive lineman/fullback William "The Refrigerator" Perry).)