SNOWY DAY IN THE OTTAWA SUBURBS!NOTE TO "CHAD": I replied, please check the bottom of the page for this specific entry.
Winter has properly arrived in Ottawa, about a month too late. Not that I don't believe in global warming to some degree, but global warming is gradual, it wouldn't delay winter a whole month compared to the preceding year. I guess it's the El Nino affecting the jetstream or whatnot.
I had to take back Crank, an action movie starring Jason Statham, to Merivale Blockbuster. (Like with most Jason Statham movies, it's got good car porn, so it was enjoyable on that level, though the camerawork was a little too gimmicky.) So I thought I'd use the opportunity to take some pictures of a wintry Nepean.
My house covered with snow. Incidentally, my parents pay to have a snow-clearing crew plow the driveway, though they hadn't yet done it at the time I took this photo (a little after 4 p.m.).
Here's an excavator dumping snow that it cleared from the parking lot of an apartment building on Inverness into a big pile. (I looked up the make and model, and I think it's a Case 570M XT Turbo loader/tool carrier.)
An OC Transpo New Flyer Invero bus heading east along Meadowlands Avenue pulling up to the bus stop in front of Inverness Park. (I'm not getting on because I'm heading west, I'm just waiting to cross the street.)
Aaaannnnnndddd.... an OC Transpo Nova Bus MCI Classic. I don't see that many of these 1980s-era buses on the road in Ottawa to begin with, and even fewer than that have the modern OC Transpo maple leaf livery. (A few of the Nova Bus MCI Classic buses on the streets of Ottawa still have the OC Transpo livery from the eighties and early nineties.)
I got on the westbound 117 bus and got off at Merivale Road.
A snowplow clearing the parking lot of Merivale Zellers.
Here's traffic in front of the dual-bannered Wendy's/Tim Hortons restaurant.
You could say that the Tim Hortons donut shop is now itself frosted and glazed.
Here's a snowplow in front of the Merivale/Meadowlands Esso station.
You see several different types of snowplows in Canada. Some are just dumptrucks with a lot of attachments, but the kind seen in this photo are more specialized kinds of units, used when they just want to scrape the roads and not dump it elsewhere.
They kind of remind me of giant insects, like a praying mantis, for some reason.
There was another scraper plow just like this one at the Esso station. I think they use it as their base of operations for the Merivale Road sector.
There are huge piles of snow at the edge of the Merivale Place parking lot (that's the strip mall with the Shoe Company, Mexx, Sport Mart, HMV, Winners, etc...).
I dropped off the movie at Merivale Blockbuster, but decided against renting anything new, as I still haven't finished watching/playing the DVDs and Playstation 2 games I got for Christmas. (Yeah, I know, I still haven't written about Christmas... I'll get around to it soon, honest.) Also, it will be pretty frickin' cold the next couple of days so I'd rather not commit myself to having to return something before the weekend.
Snow-covered Merivale McDonald's.
Note the plow-equipped pickup truck at the drive-thru window. I guess he was clearing the parking lot and wanted a coffee.
Damn, I've taken so many photos of this particular McDonald's over the past year, as though it's Angkor Wat or something.
Since there was still around half an hour of daylight left, I thought I'd avail myself of the opportunity to take a few pictures of Merivale Road businesses that I've never photographed before (or ones where I wanted a better shot than what I already had).
Malabar costume rentals (which replaced the rather nice Indian restaurant that, unfortunately, closed soon after we moved to Nepean).
Labels (which I think is a store that sells brand-name clothing remaindered from other stores, like Winners. In other words, it's the second-run theatre chain of the clothing store world) and Smarty Pants (a "children's consignment store", whatever that means).
Merivale Road has several baby strip malls in the parking lots of bigger strip malls. This one has Popeye's (which I think is a meat store with no relation to the American fried chicken chain of the same name), Pho Thi "Noodle Soup" (I guess that's Vietnamese), Topper's Pizza, and a dental clinic.
The main road entrance to Merivale Mall, with the recently-expanded Shoppers Drug Mart and the 2nd floor YMCA/YWCA in the background.
Montana's Cookhouse and Bar.
Best Buy and Linens n' Things.
And the baby strip mall with the Second Cup café, Quiznos Subs, and that Alterna Savings pseudo-bank thing.
There's actually a second Esso along this stretch of Merivale, at the corner of Viewmount Drive. I'm not sure what the point of having 2 Esso stations only about 300 metres from each other is. They're even on the same side of Merivale Road (the southbound lane).
Somehow, I never got around to taking a photograph of the Merivale Harvey's franchise before. Maybe that's because I seem to be one of the few meat-eating Canadians who prefer his hamburgers fried instead of flame-broiled.
That's enough of my tour guide to Merivale Road for one day. I know your spines were tingling with excitement just looking at my National Geographic-quality photography.
I didn't feel like going home right away, so I decided to take the 111 bus to Lincoln Fields because the only way I could possibly top the adventure I just had was with a trip to... Wal-Mart.
Light streaks from rush hour buses at the Lincoln Fields Transitway stop.
I walked along Carling to the Lincoln Fields shopping centre.
This is the interior mall entrance to the Loeb supermarket.
Notice something a little out of place here? Keep in mind that I took this picture on January 15th, 2007. Three weeks after Christmas Day. Over a week after Epiphany (which is the last day of Christmas, for those of you in Rio Linda). Or is it still Ukranian Christmas until the 18th?
Woo-hoo! The second batch of 2007 Hot Wheels has hit stores in Canada! Mattel hasn't given us any new Ferrari Hot Wheels that I could find, but I did find three new paint schemes, a straight yellow F430 spider, a straight black Ferrari Enzo, and a black-with-flames Ferrari 333 SP (one of those racetrack-only models). I also bought a metallic blue Porsche 911 Matchbox car while I was there, and, altogether, they came to just five dollars.
Here's a picture of the interior of the Lincoln Fields Wal-Mart as seen from the in-store McDonald's. I don't think Wal-Mart permits in-store photography, so I was taking a huge risk... that a clerk might get snippy with me. If you want to play "Where's Waldo?", there are three clerks in this picture alone.
McDonald's still has the normal "Thank You" trash bins, but they also now have recycling bins, for those of us who want to paw through our garbage like a common raccoon, to paraphrase Mr. Burns.
By the way, in case you're wondering, I only had a Junior Chicken sandwich, not a Big Mac. I'm sure that's maybe a whole dozen calories healthier!
Another super-bold Wal-Mart picture, of the checkout line. I think this was the split-second that no one was looking at me. I like taking candid pictures, but I'm too shy to ask for permission, so all of my candids are of the backs of people's heads.
Here's the back of a "sidewalk tank" (tractor snowplow) that almost ran me over in the Lincoln Fields shopping centre parking lot.
I'm not sure if this is one of those new Boss Mustangs or if it's just a regular "new" Ford Mustang GT with a Boss Mustang-inspired yellow-and-black colour scheme. In any event, if he's driving it around in winter, I really hope he has really good rust-proofing. That road salt will just eat it up otherwise.
The stairs at the Lincoln Fields Transitway stop.
And, finally, an OC Transpo Ford F-150 plowing/salting truck.
I hope that I have been successful in giving you a small taste of what a Canadian winter looks like in suburban Ottawa when the snow is still fresh and pretty. Personally, autumn is my favourite season of all, but it was getting very depressing how "autumn" was stretching into January, as it just seemed unnatural. Ottawa's not Toronto, Ottawa is supposed to be above the snowline!