Tuesday, August 26, 2008

harris by night

Moonlight Over the Harris Plant and Lake Ontario
An almost full moon. Its reflection shimmering on the waves of Lake Ontario. A local architectural gem. A fine destination for a stroll on a summer night.

If only I had brought a tripod...

Harris Plant (1)
I'll leave it to Squiddity to describe the evening's walk from Warden station down to the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant.

Harris Plant (4)
Images that weren't 100% crystal clear, combined with the beauty of the site, provided an opportunity for fun with Photoshop.

Harris Plant (3)

All images taken August 21, 2008.

Monday, August 25, 2008

public service announcements department (with duke the penguin)

Ever have an image or commercial burned in your brain for years and never found a way to prove that your mind isn't playing tricks on you? Until some random browsing on YouTube this weekend, I was almost convinced that Duke the Penguin was a figment of my imagination.

Blame Toledo, Ohio for this brainworm. My suspicion is that I was waiting for other family members to finish trying on clothes at the Woodville Mall branch of Sears and watched a loop tape of a Duke ad several times to kill time. Five minutes is all I needed for this cool-lookin' dude to forever etch himself on my brain cells. These memories surface whenever I see the "Poochie" episode of The Simpsons, as Poochie and Duke share similar delusions of being "cool".

Stevie Wonder utilizes a tune from the soundtrack of The Woman in Red for the public good. Lingering impression from childhood viewings: all the "no"s. Perhaps the drunk driver was driven to overindulgence that night by too many audience requests for "I Just Called To Say I Love You".

Question: what the heck was Timer? A body cell? A glob of partially-digested food? A Corn Pop come to life? A cannibalistic chunk of cheddar? Whatever he/it was, Timer was a staple of the government-mandated educational segments that aired Saturday mornings on ABC, along with Schoolhouse Rock and The Bod Squad.

Unless Kraft underwrote a remake, Timer's wagon wheel would need modifications to satisfy modern views on proper nutrition. Dried apples or pears would be nifty cracker substitutes despite rolling like a flat tire.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

save with a&p teas


Vintage Ad #579: The Flavour! The Price!
"Can I put the teapot down? I've been holding it for three hours! This smile isn't going to last much longer! I hope this is worth the 18 cents off coupon you promised me! I wish I had done that Eight O' Clock Coffee ad instead..."

An ad for A&P's house brand teas isn't a great surprise while leafing through early issues of Woman's Day, as the magazine was published by the grocery titan from the early 1930s through late 1950s.

Source: Woman's Day, November 1952

Thursday, August 14, 2008

beantown and la belle province 6: headin' north

View of the Berkshires
Welcome to the Berkshires
Massachusetts Route 2 (Mohawk Trail)

Since I had never been through northwestern Massachusetts, the route back to Canada followed Route 2 through the Berkshires. The scenery and hilltop views were beautiful, especially along the Mohawk Trail segment of the highway. Few cheesy tourist traps playing on the area's native heritage lined the roadside. The road's winding nature tossed my travel time estimations out the window, which was OK thanks to hotel reservations in Montreal.

Mohawk Theatre (1) Mohawk Theatre (2)
I stopped for a stroll in downtown North Adams and found this vintage theatre marquee. The Mohawk operated as a cinema for fifty years, then as an event venue before shutting in the early 90s. Efforts to restore the theatre have been going on for years.

Once I reached Albany, I hopped onto I-87 and stayed on it most of the drive to the border. The exception was a short jaunt through Lake George to find one of the three remaining Howard Johnson restaurants (which may be down to two if the up-for-sale Maine location has shuttered). The HoJo was still there but was closed for the day - I considered driving to the other survivor in Lake Placid until I determined it was too far from the freeway given the time.

Montreal Hotel Room (1)
I arrived in Montreal around 10pm and settled in at the Chateau L'Argoat. A co-worker recommended it to me several years ago and it has become my usual rest spot. Funky artwork in the rooms, a small breakfast nook, free parking, reasonable rates, proximity to the Metro, within walking distance of most downtown attractions - works for me.

The next two days were spent wearing my feet down to nubs as I walked around the city, covering an area from slightly west of the Decarie Expressway to the Jacques Cartier Bridge. A few pictures from the rest of the trip...

Tweety Goes For A Spin
At the rate Tweety spun in the window of Encore (a book/music store on Sherbrooke), he tawt he taw sevwal putty tats.

Alas, Montreal is Stuck With Koodo Too
Sadly there was no escape from the Koodo ad campaign in Montreal, as this bus shelter on Atwater near Lionel-Groulx Metro station testifies.

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin C'est L'Halloween, On Veut Des Bonbons
Left: Who knew that late Russian president Boris Yeltsin had a secret desire to be Paul Stanley?

Right: Items featuring these demented children and other characters from Têtes à Claques (a Quebec-based humourous video site) were seen frequently around the city, though the number of deeply discounted products may have indicated a lull in popularity.

Couche-Tard convenience stores offer Sloche for those craving slushy sustainance. The colours are garish, ranging from neon green to pitch black. The flavours are sweet enough to induce a diabetic coma - if you have a sweet tooth, prepare to be addicted. The cups poke fun at IKEA product naming conventions, in this case decribing how you feel after drinking one too many.

Liberez Vos Pulsions Primitives
'Nuff said.

Mysterious Schoolyard Game
Any guesses about the rules for this schoolyard game at Roy and Drolet?

Suite 88 Chocolatier
After passing by Suite 88 Chocolatier on St. Denis several times, I had to stop in during my last night in the city. The server warned me about the spice level in the chili cayenne chocolate gelato, but I ordered it and discovered the spicy kick worked well with the dark chocolate base.


Next: One roadtrip ends, another begins. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

but first, a few words from god

A Message From God (1)
A Message From God (2)
Howdy all.

Before taking the next six months to tell tales from the eight states (seven for Mom) my family wandered through last week, I figured these billboards from Detroit would make a nice, quick entry to ease my way back into posting. The first sign was located near Tiger Stadium, whose life appears to be ending after a decade of neglect. Strategic sign placement to hammer the point?

Sign two was found north of the Ambassador Bridge at the upper end of the massive reconfiguration of the bridge interchanges with I-75 and I-96. While bemoaning cussing in general, the sign may refer to grumbling from drivers navigating the detours around Mexicantown. God should have suggested the W.C. Fields method of cursing, which involves muttering a name that sounds close to a swear word, such as "Godfrey Daniels!"

Photos taken August 2, 2008