3:40 AM – hit the snooze button.
3:48 AM – hit the snooze button.
3:52 – get out of bed, Go stand on the back deck and see what constellations are out at this time of the day.
3:55 – shave & shower
4:20 – eat breakfast.
4:50 – out the door to meet Stephan, one of our alumni from this past year who needs to go to the US embassy in Toronto for 8:30 AM to get a student visa so he can continue his studies in the second year program of the Word of Life Bible Institute.
5:30 – first hint of sunrise. Saturn & Venus both visible in eastern sky.
6:40 – hit the 400 South. Going to the 401 East and the Yorkdale Mall.
7:20 – Yorkdale Mall. Make a dash to the subway station to get to downtown Toronto. Destination is 630 University Ave.
8:15 – arrive at the embassy. Tight security around this place since I was here last. Large concrete “planters” to prevent roadside blasts, remodeled steps no longer open in the front, now you have to approach them parallel to the building, again with a large concrete wall next to you, presumably to protect against attacks.
8:10 – say goodbye to Stephan. I know he will be there quite awhile, so I am taking off to see the sights and maybe a little shopping. I live 2.5 hours away from Toronto, but hardly ever come here. I’m a small town guy and don’t really like big cities. There are more people in the average building in Toronto than were in the town I grew up in..
8:19 – Looking like a tourist I snap a photo of old reflected in new. And I see that the time is 8:19.

8:20 – discover Winston Churchill frowning at Toronto City Hall. I guess I would too if a pidgin had left white streaks down the side of my face..

City Hall

8:27 – the old municipal Building has lots of interesting designs and architectural details.

Curious little faces.

8:33 – saw homeless guy sit down and start to warm himself over this vent.

8:42 – enter the Eaton Centre Mall.. everything is still closed.

The Eaton Centre Mall geese – part of a permanent art display

8:50 – head up Younge St. to a couple of camera stores I know are close.

8:54 – come across a map illustrationg that Younge St. is the longest street in the world, stretching around the Great Lakes.

1,869 KM

8:57 – Aden Camera #1 – sign says it opens at 9:00 AM. Continue heading north.

8:58 – Aden Camera #2 also not open. Why are there two Aden Camera stores 150 feet apart?? Dunno.

9:05 – see 4 foot tall crystal CN Tower in a store. So tempted to buy it for our kitchen table centre piece.. unfortunately this store is also closed.

9:07 – judging by the number of SUVs I assume that there must be a lot of people from out of town parking here. Can’t imagine a TO dweller needing one..

9:10 – Aden #1 still closed. Wandering in circles while waiting.

9:11 – A guy who asks for money for a coffee points out that while I have no cash I have a nice camera.

9:15 – camera store opens.

9:38 – 1st encounter with Chalk Master (aka Dave). Continue wandering while waiting for Stephan to call.

“Hello folks. I have returned. Today I will try to impress $940.00 of twoonies out of you so I can pay that whole rent thingie. I am fully aware that the world owes me nothing, so whether you give me a nickle or a twenty you truely have my gratitude.

Chalk Master”

10:05 – visit 2nd Aden store and then wander some more. I’m feeling even more conspicous as I don’t have headphones on.

10:52 – 2nd encounter with Chalk Master.

“Reasons to support Operation ‘Need-Rent’:
1 I love you all (except that guy who smells like soup)
2 Women would rather date a guy with an apartment
3 Ceilings and walls are great for those rainy days
4 I’ll do a magic trick for you
5 I can have a “Drunk Women Think I’m Hot” party (B.Y.O.B.)
6 Its hard to keep my dogi clean outside
7 I promise to start budgeting
8 I can start painting again
9 ’cause your my favorite
10 hmm, cant think of any more so Imma just draw something beautiful & hope you like it enough for a contribution”

11:00 – Indigo book store to get a book for Ellie and a photography posing book I’ve been looking for. Hope this will help improve student and staff portraits at WOL.
11:45 – At last! Stephan calls to say he is out of the embassy is will be waiting for me a nearby Tim Hortons. Of course I am now actually in the middle of doing something..
12:17 – Books purchased and heading out to meet Stephan. Weird dance thing going on down below is gathering a crowd.

12:22 – One last check up on Chalk Master.. looking good.

neck too long?

The inspiration

12:23 – Stumble across what is likely a previous days work for Chalk Master. I wonder what his take home would be for this..

12:32 – getting close to the US embassy. Take obligatory shot of CN Tower

12:34 – Meet up with Stephan. He is VERY excited. He got the visa and will be able to continue his Bible studies!

I get a photo of happy Stephan and the embassy while they are getting a photo of us.

12:47 – Subway back to the mall.

1:40 – Lunch at Wendy’s. Stephan celebrates by getting a Triple Burger.
2:30 – trouble staying awake. Stop to pick up Dew Fuel. Stephan sleeps most of the way.
4:20 – back in the office.
5:10 – Back home to my family!
5:15 – read Ellie’s new book while she sits on my lap. A good way to unwind.

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