Monday, July 3, 2017

Changing of the plans

While it was a bit of a last-minute idea, I had hoped to canoe on the Humber River today (since I have the day off).  However, my daughter really wanted to rest, since I had taken them several places yesterday.  My son isn't that much of an outdoors person anyway, though he would have eventually been cajoled into going.  We do have a few days that might work at the end of July, though today would have been particularly good since it has rained so much that the river should be high and it wasn't so hot.  Oh well.  I'll just have to see if the same conditions hold true at the end of the month.

On Sunday, I did take the kids to the Eaton Centre.  I had hoped to get some headphones on sale at Best Buy, but that place looks horrible now.  It should be called Last Legs.  Anyway, they didn't have what I was looking for.  We then went to the food court, and I managed to find something they could both agree to eat.  While we were there, a major fist fight broke out right in front of the KFC, though I refrained from jumping up and being a rubber-necker.  I still don't know exactly what happened.

We did just a bit of shopping in the mall proper, though I didn't see nearly as much Canada Day stuff (on major discount) as I had been hoping for.  We then headed over to City Hall, so I could show them the fountain.  There wasn't any band on at the time and it was too light out for them to do any kind of light display, so that was a bit disappointing.  I took them over to the large yard in front of Osgood Hall.  I told my daughter I would try to get her into the Hall soon (since it seems it is open to the public Mon-Fri, perhaps we can make a quick stop off after her camp in a few weeks).

We then got down to Harbourfront.  We actually got out a stop early and walked, partly because I was getting tired of the crowds, and I wanted to make sure she didn't get sick.  Maybe I am just not remembering how crowded it was at the water front (even a few years ago), but it seems jammed with people.  (I suspect I never spent much time over by the ferry terminal, however, since even in years when the water front was kind of slow, plenty of people went over to the Islands.)  Maybe it is a combination of Harbourfront Centre getting more interesting programming, plus they finally finished rebuilding the streetcar tracks and more or less connected the bike path along there.  Anyway, it was crowded, maybe even a bit too crowded.

We were there to see the huge duck (and to compare how large it was compared to the one we saw in Vancouver -- well, really the Richmond Night Market).  But first, we sat for a while on the boardwalk and watched a somewhat smug contortionist.  He was pretty good, though I could have done without all the patter.  Anyway, here's the duck.

We just didn't want to brave the crowds* any longer to go all the way around to see the face.  We walked over to the street and just missed getting on a heritage street car.  It was actually heading the other direction, but we probably could have still taken it, assuming it went up Spadina.

We then caught the next one going to Union Station and then headed home.  At one point I had considered going back out for more of the Jazz Fest, but I didn't really feel like it (it was already 4 pm or so by the time we got back).  Instead, I went to the mall and picked up a couple of t-shirts and then worked out for a bit.

So it was a busy day, and it wasn't such a bad idea to rest today.  It's also true that my allergies are acting up a fair bit and two days spent entirely outside might not be the best idea...  I did sit outside for a while, however, and caught up a bit on my reading.  I didn't really write much this weekend, and that will catch up to me soon enough.

On the other hand, I sewed together two of the rows.  It looks pretty nice, though I'll have to press everything when it is done.  In this photo the top two rows are actually sewn together and then the next two are just laid down in the proper sequence.

I think it is looking good, but what an undertaking!

I also cooked a fair bit today.  I made cherry pancakes, which turned out pretty well.  (These weren't the most flavourful cherries, and I think the heat released some of the sugars.)

I also made a vegetable paella.  I didn't really want to at this point, but I had promised, so I pushed on through.

I spent most of the remaining time trying to organize my music library and track down missing albums (or really the mp3s I ripped from the albums).  I found almost everything this time around, except for some Barney Kessel.  I hope that turns up.  There are still some misplaced CDs, and I guess one of my big projects this August will be to try to go through the piles of data CDs I have and look for actual music CDs that may have slipped in accidentally.  It's probably not the best use of my time, but if I don't do this, I won't really be able to get the basement organized.

Then I realized I had to run to the store to get snacks for the kids' camps, so I did that, and made one more trip to the gym.  I realize it sounds I am a bit obsessed, but I won't be able to bike the next 3 weeks, and I would so like to make sure I get into the habit of going while it is nice out.  If I start seeing results by the end of summer, then I am more likely to keep it up when it starts getting chilly (and dark!).  All in all, a moderately productive day, even without the canoe trip.

I actually forgot to mention a few other changes of plans.  I had hoped to go to High Park this Friday or next Friday to see Twelfth Night with my son, taking him there straight after camp, but both nights it looks like rain.  Drat.  We could attempt next Wednesday, but that may be a bit too inconvenient, given that he has to be up somewhat early on Thurs.  Also, I found that this year, the Driftwood Bus Tour's residency in Withrow Park is down to just a single night (from 4-5 shows).  While in general, I applaud their outreach to other parts of Toronto, the parks they have chosen are not really transit-friendly, so if it rains on the 29th, I'm not going.

* In terms of people I ran into, it was only about 25% of people who either made an attempt or wanted to see the duck, and the other 75% thought it was a fairly silly waste of money, particularly since it had nothing to do with Toronto or Canada more broadly.  However, the festival organizers seem convinced that thousands of people came to see it and that the return on investment ($30,000 or $160,000 depending on what you count) was extremely high.  Hard to say, but I guess perhaps I shouldn't have pooh-poohed this rubber duck quite so much, if in effect it stimulated tourism to more than pay for itself.

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