Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Receipt Diary 

Vacances du Québec
Dig a little deeper and you can expose the complete EXIF data for every photo taken.

For years I’ve kept receipts. They have piled up on dressers and side tables. On the surface I keep them in case I need proof of purchase for a return but more deeply, they are a record of my life. Paper print-outs of data that record where exactly you were at what time, doing exactly what. Paper fossil records of a day in the life. I’ve definitely missed some including items purchased where I refused a receipt or lost an inconsequential one (ice cream bought at a truck, items at a corner store, a fast food meal purchased with the tap of a debit card), not to mention use of things procured within a mobile phone app or on a tap-to-use transit card. Yet this marks a journey of just some of the data bread crumbs I’ve left behind. You can even garner the exact time the photos were taken (somehow that seemed like overkill - or I was too lazy to note it). I’ve added notes where I remembered the transaction but amazingly you forget what it was you were thinking or even doing despite having an actual record of it in your hand. This seems a little strange to share how much I spent and what I bought but it also feels “truer” if that makes sense? I’m not sure why I’m starting this on August 5? Maybe it was the first August receipt I could find. I’ve also included my activity data to fill in when I wasn’t buying something. It’s strange how there are very little impressions from these moments yet it feels like it adds up to something. This is how I spent August including a week on vacation in Québec.

Friday August 5
8:07 PM
$22.49
Freshco, Parliament & Dundas
Bought chocolate bar, potato salad, pita, blueberries, smoked Gouda cheese, green grapes and prosciutto

10:56 PM
ran 5.12 km
25.7°C average temperature
358 Calories
I guess I had prosciutto, green salad and potato salad for supper after a short but really late run. Did I finish at 11PM? I must have eaten before such a late run?

Saturday August 6
1:35 PM
Swam 750 m
Regent Park Aquatic Centre
This was a really short quick swim.

Monday August 8
8:24 PM
Ran 6.81 Km
26.2°C average temperature
379 calories
Ran down to Corktown Common and back up the Lower Don Trail.

Thursday August 11
7:20 PM
Swam 1475 m
Regent Park Aquatic Centre
I don't often swim after work but this time the pool was open until 7:55 PM. Almost 1500m is a pretty good swim for me.

Friday August 12
2:15 PM
Tri-fit Gym, RBC Waterpark Place, Queens Quay Toronto
Went to the gym for 45 minutes - it was really quiet. Not many people there at that time of day. All the TVs were on the Olympics. My vacation began the moment the door of the office closed behind me.

Saturday August 13
12:37
Swam 725 m
Regent Park Aquatic Centre
Got there late so another short swim.

Sunday August 14
12:09 PM
Swam 1750 m
Regent Park Aquatic Centre
I made sure to get there early enough to get a better swim in.

Monday August 15
Plane to Québec City - the ride to Union was slow and expensive. Cabs aren’t worth it sometimes.

Couldn’t find my Monday receipts? After walking around a bit and a quick tour “under” the Dufferin Terrace, I had a écreme molle (soft serve) and went back to the hotel. According to my phone, I walked 14.2 Km this day. Later I had an expensive and disappointing meal at a place with Québecois cuisine, called La Buche. To be honest, everyone else seated around me seemed to be having something better than me. I tried to be healthy and have a mixed salad topped with smoked salmon and a poached egg with bacon chunks mixed in. I think the egg just made everything else soggy and crap.

Tuesday August 16
10:04 AM
Picked up the bike at the rental place. I had brought my shoes and own pedals and it only took them a minute to put them on the bike.

Biked 68.37 Km
18 Kph avg speed
1815 Calories
26.4°C avg temp
5 Kph wind from WSW
79% Humidity
Biked to Montmorency Falls and beyond.

1:48 PM
$13.75
Bought a ticket to the cable car down to the information centre of Les Chutes Montmorency. So I took almost four hours to ride from Québec City to the Falls, walk around the falls then return back to the information centre? Wow. I had no idea I spent so long there.

4:18 PM
$5.65
Boul. Montmorency, Québec City
This must have been a pretty fast ride from Montmorency to my turn around point. Less than two and one half hours passed but I racked up almost 60 Km by that point. On the ride back from Montmorency Falls and St. Anne I stopped at the Velo-oasis to eat a sandwich I bought earlier and feeling the hunger after 60 Km on the bike I had a small fries (not so small) and ginger ale. Was absolutely stuffed after.

4:53 PM
$55.00
Saint-Paul, Québec City
It was a really buggy ride between the Falls and the city. My face was pelted by insects as I rode back into the city. At the snack-shack they must have been used to it because they made sure to close the order window promptly. I do recall the ride from the pit stop back to the bike store seemed really quick. Less than 30 minutes later I had returned the rented bike to Cyclo Services on Saint-Paul, Q.C. Nice folks but the bike was a dud. Some kind of Opus cyclo-cross? Just terrible. Not sure it was worth bringing my shoes and pedals for that bike.

8:53 PM
$31.73
Les Trois Garçons
Rue St-Jean, Québec City
Four hours after dropping off the bike and going out again? I had a quick shower but a really long nap. I didn’t realize how tired I was. I had a burger and a pint of Cheval Blanc at Les Trois Garcons which seemed the simplest option. I ate out on their street side terrace so it was nice to people watch for a bit.

My phone’s Health app notes 10.36 Km of walking.

Wednesday August 17
10:32 AM
Ran 5.65 Km
22.8°C
Wind 2 kph ESE
69% Humidity
If I was tired after the ride, I was only more tired the next morning. The fire alarm went off after 2AM overnight and I wasn’t back in bed until 3AM. In the morning I ran a route I’d walked two days before, around the old city walls. It seemed further when I walked it? It felt a lot hotter than 23°. After a shower, I packed and went to catch my train to Montréal.

Despite going for a run, I wound up only walking 5.1 Km which seems wrong given where I was and what I was doing?

4:25 PM
$18.00
Once in Montreal, I purchased a 3-Day pass for the Montréal Metro (STM). Train ride from Q.C. was slow and cramped and very chilly. A/C on full blast. I read mostly. The Metro closest to the hotel was Places d’Armes so I got off there and walked.

8:29 PM
$38.47
Solmar / La Sauvagine
St-Paul Est
I had a green salad and seafood linguini. Trapped in the tourist bubble of old Montréal.

The hotel turned out to have upgraded me to a 2-bedroom apartment! I had a nap before going out and when I got back I picked up some snacks at the dep and then just relaxed on the couch and watched Olympics coverage.

Thursday August 18
12:25 PM
$18.63
Eggspectation Notre-Dame Est
I woke up with a terrible headache so I took some Advil and lay back and waited it for to kick in. Eventually I got up and went for a big brunch of pancakes, eggs and bacon and lots of coffee. Watched Brooke Henderson golfing and saw highlights of Erica Weibe winning her semis en route to her wrestling gold. I downloaded the Montréal bike share app, Bixi so I could get a bike when I needed one.

1:11 PM
Musee des Beaux-arts de Montréal
$20.00
Took the Metro to get to the museum. $20 to see the Pompeii show and the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit was a great price. Later, I grabbed a Bixi using the app (with an unfortunately lowered seat, stuck in place, had to stop several times to correct it) and did a really frustrating, hot and hard ride up to Bernard to the Drawn & Quarterly Store

4:12 PM - 4:38 PM
From de la Montagne / Sherbrooke to Bernard - Jeanne-Mance
This from the Bixi app - surprised that ride was less than 30 minutes and that I was only at the museum for three hours. It was a hard ride on that crappy bike. It would be a hard climb on a good bike.

4:56PM
Drawn and Quarterly
$54.50
211 Bernard Ouest
It was sort of late by the time I got to D&Q, I was only in the shop for 20 minutes but was mesmerized. I decided I had time to grab a milkshake at a nearby shop and walk the neighbourhood a bit. Once I finished my shake I got another Bixi back to the hotel. Much easier ride. Coasted all the way down St-Urbain.

5:29 PM - 5:52 PM
From Bernard / Jeanne-Mance to de la Commune / Saint-Sulpice
Again a surprisingly short 23 minute ride back to the hotel - downhill this time.

7:27 PM
SAQ - Place d'Armes
$13.65
Bought a bottle of Chardonnay to bring to Dave and Rebecca's, friends who were luckily in town. It took a few disjointed e-mails to figure out when to meet.

7:32 PM - 20:01 PM
From de la Commune / Sainte-Sulpice to Rufus Rockhead / Atwater
I can hardly believe that five minutes after buying a bottle of wine I was on a rented bike and 29 minutes later (1 minute under the time cut off for additional cost) I was in my friends’ neighbourhood. Got on a Bixi and rode along the Lachine Canal to the Atwater Market. I left the Bixi at the market and walked to Dave and Rebecca’s. Marvellous night. Had a really strange feeling of déjà vu. Met Peter Flemming there too. Took another Bixi back to the hotel - back before midnight.

11:26 PM - 11:44 PM
A 19 minute ride? The same route earlier took 10 minutes longer. Shows what knowing where you’re going and not stopping for photos can do for efficiency.

12.93 Km of walking noted by my phone.

Friday August 19
10:51 AM
Eggspectation
12 Notre-Dame E
$17.19
I managed to get everything in one bag and left it at the hotel when I checked out. Another big breakfast before starting out. Bought a small pad lock (no receipt?) that I thought I would need for the locker at the pool I was planning on going to. Got a Bixi to ride to the island for a swim. I took my shoulder bag with my swim kit and that was it. At this point I feel like bragging about my packing. In one duffel/backpack I had: cycling shoes/pedals/pump, cycling shorts, cycle shirt, running shorts, running shoes, flip flops, swim trunks, a towel, goggles, a change of clothes, extra undies, and t-shirts, my camera, two lenses, spare battery, battery charger, two note books, spare phone batteries, an eReader, iPad mini, charging cables and toiletries. I think that’s it.

12:00 PM - 12:44 PM
From de la Commune / Place Jacques-Cartier to Quai de la navette fluviale.
$1.75
The only Bixi ride where I went over 30 minutes and incurred an extra cost but mostly that was because I was hopelessly lost and had to back track to get on a route to go over the bridge to the island. Got lost a couple of times trying to find how to get on the Jacques Cartier Bridge. Eventually figured it out. $1.75 worth of “eventually” isn’t so bad. Some other people who were lost asked for directions and as I had my phone with a map app open it was easy. I think (I hope) I only added $8-$9 in data charges on this trip.

12:53 PM
Complexe Aquatique
$7.50
Parc Jean-Drapeau
A nine minute walk from the Bixi stand where I left the bike to the entrance of the pool.

1:03 PM
Swam 1800m
Ten minutes later I had changed into my swim gear and picked a swim lane at the piscine in Parc Jean-Drapeau. “Rapide” looked a little too fast, it’s a 50m pool after all, and “Lent” was crowded, leaving “Moyen” the lane for me. Beautiful beautiful pool. I didn’t want to get out. Eventually I did. I didn’t ride back but took the Metro to the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Afterwards, I took the Metro back to the hotel where I got a cab to the airport. Landed at Billy Bishop airport where, via the new tunnel, I walked to the mainland. Then I rented a Bike Share bike and rode home.

12.94 Km of walking as noted by my phone.

Saturday August 20
11:57 AM
Swam 1725 m

4:27 PM
$24.47
St. Jamestown Steak and Chops Ltd
Don’t know what I did the rest of the day but at this point I went to the butcher to get a PEI grassfed Striploin steak and an Ontario boneless pork chop.

Also went next door and got a six of beer (no receipt)

4:57 PM
$39.96
Freshco
Parliament and Dundas
Cereal, cheese, ice cream, pita, milk, green grapes, bananas, avocados, eggs

Sunday August 21
2:40 PM
Movie at Dundas Sq cinemas
Kubo and the Two Strings
Striking stop-motion movie. The 3D glasses ruined the colour. See in 2D whenever possible.

Monday August 22
6:30 AM
Dundas and Bathurst
at Toronto Western for another Bleo treatment. Bernice signs me out around 11:00 AM.

11:18 AM
Denny’s Dundas St. W.
$22.12
Lumberjack Slam, juice, coffee. Nothing says recovery like 2 eggs, toast, hashbrowns, sausage, ham, bacon and a couple of pancakes.

12:40 PM
Muji
Dundas and Yonge
$43.18
Bought the last three pairs of their cotton stretch boxers. Final sale.

6:27 PM
MEC
King Street
$96.00
After a lie-down (do other people call a light nap a “lie-down”?) reading books purchased in Montréal (see Thursday, August 18, 4:56PM) in the A/C comfort of my bedroom I wanted to check out a sale at Patagonia. For years I’ve needed (wanted) to replace a threadbare but beloved thin red fleece I got almost 16 years ago for $19 at an H&M in NYC. Got to Patagonia, said fleece would be on sale for $49 but would have to order it. I tried on several similar ones to check the size and another pullover made of the same material and … just didn’t care for the fit or the very fuzzy fleece. Then I went to MEC just to see what they had. Found something really similar in a much better fit and much nicer, thinner material. Unfortunately it was twice the price (basically the same price as the one at Patagonia when not on sale). I still don’t know why I bought it other than it was the first time in 16 years I had seen a fleece that fit and I liked. A $19 purchase 16 years ago had become a $96 replacement. It was like buying real estate in Toronto.

7:19 PM
Freshco
Parliament and Dundas
$2.13
Red bell pepper. One can red kidney beans.
Missing ingredients for beans and rice which I ingeniously made on the BBQ to avoid heating up the kitchen.

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