Friday, April 29, 2011

Beast of a Road Trip

05:18 the journey begins. I grab a cab to the Canada coach bus terminal. I arrive 45 minutes early. The bus doesn't leave until 6:30.

To some, journeys start with a first step, I see my voyage starting off with a first meal. Specifically an Italian sausage on a bun loaded with onions, red peppers, corn relish, and a bit of mustard.

I started exploring the bus terminal for forms of food. There was none, other then the pop vending machines that is. Everything was closed, food wise that is. Even the downstairs McDonalds and some other restaurants, part of the Atrium on Bay building were all were closed. How is a person supposed to eat in this town? sheesh.

Hope flickered before my eyes in the form of people wandering around with Tim Horton coffee cups. Where were they coming from? I couldn't think of any close by locations but decided to get up to street level and check just in case some new store front popped up.

Instead I found a hot dog vendor. YEEEEESSSSSS!

A girl checks to see what bus is in lane 2.

11:03 on the megabus we're located somewhere just approching Cornwall. This double decker bus is great. There's power plugs and free wi-fi. Actually the seats aren't that comfortable. For me the seats feel too curved making you sit like a curled shrimp (it's just like being in the fashion photo pit but without the crowds). I can see that sitting in these things for more than two hours may prove challenging.

We stopped in Kingston but weren't allowed off the bus. While the bus driver said it was for our safety, people getting hit in the parking lot by cars perhaps, I couldn't help but think it was just a clever way of saying "We don't want to put in the work to keep track of you all and if you want food you have to buy it from the girl with the food cart and not the local Tim Hortons."

Yes, in the olden days you used to be able to get off the bus and go to the Kingston bus terminal for grub and/or a bathroom break. Because of the proximity of the Tim Hortons you could go there as well (where the food is better). When I say olden days I'm really referring to two years ago.

We are currently travelling at 115 km/hour..

Looking at the decomposition one wonders how these bridges are safe.

Warp speed. Travelling the tunnel before Montreal.

12:38 I'm in Montreal standing in a park next to the bus station (gare d'autocars de Montréal). It's really bright out after being in a bus for 6 hours. There's a nice breeze and there's a odour in the air, it smells like barf. I look over at a guy sleeping on the grass scratching himself under the arm pit oblivious to the two girls making squinty eyes while fanning their face while they walk by him. Horray! It's not me.

While waiting for Tush to meet me I decide to take a look around a bit and take some photos. The first thing I noticed while looking through the window of the bus about Montreal was the enormous amount of NDP signage there was. (The election for Prime Minister is in two days). Hey if Jack Layton becomes Prime Minister that photo I have of him giving the thumbs up to Roller Derby might be worth something. Crud... I think I just jinxed it.

13:53 enjoying the first of many Montreal bagels from the Fairmount Bakery.

14:09 arrive at Neon Skates

Neon Skates!

Surprisingly Marc's hands have not fallen off from working on T-shirts all week

Tush internetting1

Marc and Tush internetting1


Skaters from the Fog City Roller Girls (St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada)

Ninja Simone

The Arena, Registration, and Men's Roller Derby

This is too awesome for words.

Montreal's Mont Royal play their first game playing the Burlington Bombers. IT should be known that this is the first all men's game that I have photographed. I figured it would be different due to where the center of gravity is located. I've photographed co-ed skating in the past but I noticed something about men's derby that was kind of alarming.

When a female skater hits the floor it's usually kind of cat like. Maybe a really awkward cat with no elegance what so ever but cat like all the same. When a guy falls, at least at this game, it was more like a splat. a big wet pancake sound if you will. As elegant as a sack of potatoes hitting the floor. Not like that light kitty paws hitting the floor but a solid, heavy, oh my god please don't fall on me, thunk sound.

I kept my distance for the most part sitting further away from the track then usual while taking photos.

Skaters from Tri-City (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada)
note: the new glasses on Martini

Quadzilla, the James Bond of Roller Derby, shows up and looks... amused.

The Rev making his rounds.

Mark the Shark using vocal intimidation on the Bomber skater

The crowd cheers as Montreal gets their first win

The victory lap

Final Score Mont Royal 133, Bombers 65

Mont Royal

Burlington Bombers

01:28 End of a long day, heading toward a couch

1 "Internetting" - to browse the internet

Friday, April 08, 2011

Hamilton for three hours

"We so excited"

On the second friday of every month, Hamilton has an art crawl. This month's art crawl had some derby stuff to start the advertising ball rolling for the upcoming season opener in May. Affectionately known as the Mother's Day Massacre. Due to sponsors and political correctness it is now referred to as the "Season Opener".

As one of Hamilton's derby photographers I was asked for some photos, prints, of some past bouts for display. Adam Swinbourne, artist, had some poster work that he designed for Hammer City.

As we both live in Toronto we decided to take a bus in say hello and see our work. We didn't leave until 19:00 and the last bus returning to Toronto is 23:35. That gave us just over three hours to schmooze and greet all the friends we knew. Not enough time.

Adam Swinbourne, derby poster artist

A nice use of a photo I took (if I do say so myself)

Miss Carriage at Hammer City Records

Craig and Leah and Hammer City Records

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The Junction

Today was one of those days where I had stuff to do but instead decided to do other something else. I started off by going to the bank to convert change into larger denominations. There was a small pile building up from all the pocket change that I'd been dumping into the inverted money pyramid (container that sorts change) over the last few months.

After the banking done I decided today would be a good day to wander the new neighbourhood and see what was around. I walked to the Junction. Noted the interesting stores. There's a pet store for lizards and smaller pets (ie. hamsters) on the north side of the street. There's also a hardware store, a No Frills grocery store (yay) and an assortment of restaurants (including Vesuvio, the pizza place to go to if you're in the pizza mood).

Exploring the area was also a way to test out the GPS. I needed to get some photos with some actual coordinates to use on my program when I continue to write it, I'm thinking I'll reopen that project on thursday after I finish work on Wednesday and push to get it operational by the weekend. Lofty expectations I suppose but that it my goal. Most of the guts are programmed already.