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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Mr. Holmes.

I watched it tonight, and I'd recommend it if you're looking for a break from typical loud Hollywood action-adventure or comedy.  It was nice to see Hiroyuki Sanada, even if his presence was fairly brief.  And someone should teach Milo Parker how to do a northern British accent, because in 10 years or so he'll be perfect for playing a young Mark E. Smith if someone wants to do a Smith/The Fall biopic.

I wonder what Arthur Conan Doyle would think of there being multiple versions of his creation extant in the 21st Century.  He often thought of the character as a burden, even trying to kill him off, but I suspect part of him would find the continued fondness for the character quite flattering.

The Last Sip.

I just finished my last Coke Zero of the year.  This made me wonder how many gallons of the stuff I've consumed in 2015.  The answer is of course "Too many."  I'm hoping to cut back some in 2016.  It will save me a bit of money, and I think less caffeine can't be a bad thing either.

Breakfast With Fedor, Who's Watching?

Sitting here watching this I can't help but wonder what the ratings will actually be.  How many Spike viewers aren't working today?  I suspect this is going to be heavily DVRed.

Nitz Would Approve.

The Nova Scotia government has released a list of the top 20 names given to male and female babies in 2015.  Not all of them are to my taste, but no real horrors made it.  One report I heard recently claimed some Canadians are giving their kids names like Ace and Striker(I suspect the latter gets spelled Stryker).  One that caught my eye is that this year Parker is in 17th place for boys, allowing me to make an Undergrads reference in the title.  It's been a while since I had the chance.

Tick, Tick, Tick.

The end approaches!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Windows 10, Hmmm.

My dad's computer arrived today.  It's equipped with Windows 10.  Having only gone as far as Windows 7 using 10 is a bit weird.  It will take some getting used to.  As for my computer I think I'll continue with Windows 7 for a while yet.  It's been stable on this machine, which in general has been probably the best computer I've used in my life.  It's just a cheap HP desktop, but for some reason it's just been better than the rest I've used as my personal machine over the years. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Today's Cassettes, December 29. 2015.

Boy, it's been a long time since I've done one of these.  But tonight I broke out the cassette boxes and pulled out a couple.

First off was Future Memories(Live on TV) by Swiss keyboardist Patrick Moraz.  Moraz is best known for his brief stint as keyboardist for Yes, appearing on their Relayer album, and for his much long stint with the Moody Blues.  Here Moraz plays various keyboards solo.  However I'm a bit skeptical of the claim this is totally live.  It was recorded in 1978, and there sounds like there's too much going on at times for one keyboardist with two hands to be doing it all given the technology of the time.

Cassette number two was Nada & Dakwah.  Although it's credited to Indonesian dangdut singer Rhoma Irama only side one features his vocals.  The tracks on side two are sung by female singer Noer Halimah.  Irama is one of the big names in the dangdut style.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Lemmy, 1945-2015.

I wasn't a Motorhead fan, but I couldn't let his death pass without acknowledging it.  It wasn't a huge surprise, since reports of his poor health had been circulating for a good while, and as the man himself sang he didn't want to live forever.  Unfortunately we're going to be seeing more and more of that generation of rock musicians passing away in the next few years.

Friday, December 25, 2015

My Dad Ordered A Computer.

One of the things online commerce has changed is the ability to shop at times that you couldn't in the past.  Today my dad put in an order with a major retailer for a new computer, to replace his ancient(by  computer standards) desktop.  How ancient, you ask?  It has a single core Sempron CPU.   The new machine was on special just for today, something that's presumably easy to pre-program into an online shopping website, so some poor IT guy doesn't have to sit there changing things on Christmas Day.  You might ask why he didn't wait for tomorrow's Boxing Day sales, and buy something else in person that would be suitable..  Well, he's not the kind of person dumb enough to go out in minus 30 weather to sit in line at the front door of a shop so he can maybe get some door crasher special.

Trying to decide what to buy has been a bit annoying.  Given how many options there are how do you know what to buy?  Research does winnow down choices, like some machines that seem to be built with laptop parts,.  But even then at some point you need to make a decision, or you never will.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

I Agree With Local Baptists.

This morning I saw a sign in front of a local Baptist church that said "One thing that cannot be recycled is wasted time."  I agree, which is why I don't spend regular time in churches.  I already have plenty of ways to waste time.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, December 18, 2015.

Gas prices continue their meandering.  Gas in Saskatoon has dropped to 87.4 cents a litre at most locations.  I won't be surprised if it goes up or down in the next few days.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Get Inventing!

There are many things our world needs.  I just realised one of them.  Socks that last much longer.  I just threw out a pair I liked because they've developed holes sooner than I expected, making them unwearable.  Surely in  a world where LED light bulbs are expected to have years of life someone can develop socks that last longer than six months.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Will I Or Won't I.

You can't avoid the Star Wars:  The Force Awakens hype right now.  But I have no idea whether I'll actually see it in a theatre or not.  I can't remember the last film I saw in one.  It's just not something I do these days.  I occasionally think I should go see a cheap movie a month but it hasn't happened yet.  I certainly won't be in line for the first showing in Saskatoon.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

A Lot.

Last night I got a hit from Quispamsis, New Brunswick.  I'm sure people who live there have to explain the pronunciation of Quispamsis a lot when they encounter people unfamiliar with the name.

Believe me,  I know what that's like.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, December 11, 2015.

Despite the price of oil continuing to drop it looks like the price of gas is going up in Saskatoon.  It had risen to 92.9 cents a litre at the quartet of stations around 8th Street and Acadia as I passed through the area at noon, so I assume the stations elsewhere will follow suit, if they haven't raised their prices already.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

It Seemed Right.

This morning I went into Macs on 25th Street to grab a Coke Zero and some of their house brand chips.(Try some if you have the chance, they're good.)  As I stood in line I noticed a five dollar bill laying on the floor.  I bent down and gave it to the clerk, who said she'd hold onto it for a bit and see if anyone came for it.  I could have just taken it, but giving it to her seemed like the right idea.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

In Memoriam.

On this date in 1989 Marc Lepine killed the following 14 women, simply for being women.  They were all students of Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal.  He killed them simply for being women.

Geneviève Bergeron (b. 1968), civil engineering student.
Hélène Colgan (b. 1966), mechanical engineering student.
Nathalie Croteau (b. 1966), mechanical engineering student.
Barbara Daigneault (b. 1967), mechanical engineering student.
Anne-Marie Edward (b. 1968), chemical engineering student.
Maud Haviernick (b. 1960), materials engineering student.
Maryse Laganière (b. 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique's finance department.
Maryse Leclair (b. 1966), materials engineering student.
Anne-Marie Lemay (b. 1967), mechanical engineering student.
Sonia Pelletier (b. 1961), mechanical engineering student.
Michèle Richard (b. 1968), materials engineering student.
Annie St-Arneault (b. 1966), mechanical engineering student.
Annie Turcotte (b. 1969), materials engineering student.
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (b. 1958), nursing student.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Go Do David Willis A Favour.

Go visit Dumbing of Age.  That way his page visit count will go up, and he'll make more money from his ads, which will help pay for his new twins.  Seriously, if every one of my oodles of readers did that, he might actually make an extra cent or two.

Monday, November 30, 2015

I Need A Janitor.

Or maybe a better term is minion.  I just spent several minutes deleting a bunch of Indonesian spam comments.  What a pain in the ass.  I guess I need to pay more attention to the comments.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A New Christmas Horror.

I don't know about where you are,  but in Saskatoon the malls have already started playing Christmas music.  As a result I heard a new horror the other day.  A dance version of "The Little Drummer Boy."

Whoever came up with that version,  you should be ashamed of yourself.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

When I Rule The World 29.

Equipment will be installed in every washroom to insure anyone over the age of five who uses the toilet washes their hands.  If it detects you not doing so you will get an electric shock as punishment.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, November 27, 2015.

Today is Black Friday, but the price of gas had already dropped before today.  Gas in Saskatoon is current 87.9 cents a litre at most locations.  I can't see it dropping much further, especially with the holiday travel season approaching, but I've been wrong before.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

It Never Was.

Looking around Deviantart tonight I stumbled across an anti-immigrant cartoon. (I won't link to it to avoid giving the artist hits)  It claimed that immigration only occurs to "white countries."  I checked the profile of the artist, and he lives in the United States, which I was entirely unsurprised at.  He, and anyone else with similar beliefs, needs to get a clue.  The United States was never a "white country."  Before colonists showed up those lands were the home of various indigenous peoples.  That remained the case after large scale colonisation began.  As the United States expanded it also took in territories where significant numbers of people of Spanish descent lived, many of whom also had indigenous ancestry.  Then there were all the African slaves brought in before the US Civil War finally ended that crime.  Chinese workers were brought in to build the railways, Hawaiians began to move to the mainland after the US annexed it, as did Puerto Ricans after their island met the same fate.  And on it went.  Of course the past equivalents of today's believers in this nonsense didn't always want white people immigrating either, if they came from places like Ireland, Italy, and Eastern Europe, or were European Jews.  That should come as no surprise, given that racism isn't in any way rational.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Not Professor X.

This morning I got a hit from Xavier University.  It wasn't from Charles unfortunately, since Xavier University is located in Columbus, Ohio.  And their sports teams are the Musketeers, not the X Men.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, November 20, 2015

Last week I predicted the price of gas would drop.  It has, but more than I expected.  After dropping several times this week gas is now 92.9 cents at most stations.  I doubt it will drop much further,  but I have been wrong before.


Blast From The Baseball Past.

Interesting news on the Blue Jays broadcast front.  Veteran Canadian sports broadcaster Dan Shulman will be doing play by play on 30 Toronto Blue Jays games next year, as well as appearing on other Rogers Sportsnet baseball coverage.  Shulman was Buck Martinez's broadcast partner on Blue Jays broadcasts on TSN(remember when TSN and CBC had baseball broacasts?) between 1995 to 2001 before joining ESPN.  He'll continuing working for ESPN on baseball and basketball broadcasts, ensuring he'll be a busy man next year.  I'm sure there's an interesting story on how this all came about.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

"Winter Is Coming."

So says the Special Weather Statement issued this morning by Environment Canada.  We're supposed to get snow in Saskatoon in the next 24 hours.  So break out the winter gear, Saskatonians, if you haven't already.  Hopefully I won't have to do any driving tomorrow, as the first few days after snow generally see everyone driving like idiots.  Yes, despite what you might think if you're from someplace where snow is rare, winter driving experience seems to make no difference those first few days.  Everyone seems to forget everything they've learned.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, November 13, 2015.

It's a nice add on for your weekend.  After dropping to 103.9 cents a litre earlier in the week the price of gas dropped again today to 101.9 cents a litre at most locations.  I wouldn't be surprised if it drops again next week.

Monday, November 09, 2015

I'm Sorry, Roughriders.

I forgot you had a game yesterday.  So I missed you beating the Alouettes to end the season on a promising note.  It does make me wonder how many other people didn't watch yesterday either.  In any case better luck next year.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Bellator Strikes Again.

But not in a good way.  If you saw Bellator 145 tonight you no doubt caught their "big announcement" that Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock will fight at Bellator 149 in Houston in February.  Shamrock will turn 52 a bit before the fight.  Gracie hasn't fought since June of 2007.  In other words Bellator will be continuing its apparent strategy of trying to promote a geezer division.  I wonder what other old and past it fighters we can expect to see in the future.  And you can bet that Dana White is shaking his head and/or laughing at the idea.

Gas In Saskatoon, November 6, 2015.

We had another week where gas prices bounced around.  Monday saw the price of gas rise around midday from 100.9 cents a litre to 107.9 cents a litre.(Fortunately I put gas in my car just before the price went up.)  Yesterday saw the price drop a little bit, leaving us with a price of 105.9 cents a litre.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Slow Patch.

No, last week's little health problem didn't do me in.  I'm just going through a bit of a slow patch.  I'm planning on things picking up a bit here soon.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Still Ill.

I'm afraid I must bore you and note I'm still not running quite right.  I'm starting to think it was something I ate, because that's the only thing I did differently from usual before I started feeling unwell.

Friday, October 30, 2015

An Illness Advantage.

If you're sick, and your appetite is low, you won't go out and buy junk food.  Of course it doesn't make up for the disadvantages.

ILL!!!!!

I'm sick today.  Anyone wanna trade my sick for your healthy?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

No Idea Is Too Stupid...

...that someone won't believe it.  A good example I just came across is that stage magicians have actual magic powers, which are given to them by demons.  You can find more than one YouTube uploader who has posted a video or ten "proving" this is the case.  If that's the kind of thing demons actually do it seems they must have too much time on their hands.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, October 23, 2015.

Another pingpong week to report.  At the beginning of the week gas dropped to  99.9 cents a litre.  But today the price has rebounded upward, with the price at most locations being 105.9 cents a litre.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Vote, Canadians!

It's federal election day.  If you haven't already done so in an advanced poll get off your ass and vote.  There are legitimate reasons not to vote, but laziness and disinterest aren't.  If you don't vote,  and you could, keep your yap shut when things don't go the way you want.  By not voting you de facto vote for whoever wins your riding.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

I Bet It Wasn't You.

Last night saw the biggest lottery prize drawn in Canadian history, with Lotto 6/49 reaching an estimated 64 million dollars.  Did you buy a ticket, Canadian reader?  Admit it, even if you didn't you probably thought about it.  But I feel safe in saying you weren't the person who won it if you did buy a ticket.  The winner was a single ticket in Mississagua, Ontario.  The chances the person or people that hold that ticket have ever visited this blog are slim.  Probably about the same odds of winning the big prize on Lotto 6/49, 1 in 14 some million.

Did I buy a ticket?  Yes I did.  But frankly I think if you're going to buy lottery tickets you should only buy one buck tickets.  After all three one dollar tickets are more likely to win something than one three dollar one.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

You'd Never See It Down South.

It's interesting how much difference a border can make.  Beaners is a kid's hair cut salon found mainly in Alberta.  A location opened in Saskatoon a few years ago, but it's unclear to me if it still is.

If you're an American you might be raising an eyebrow at seeing that name.  In the US beaner is a slang term for Hispanic people, and generally considered a derogatory one, although some people have tried to reclaim it.  I've never heard it used in my area, but I was well aware of its existence.  So seeing that used as a business name was odd to me.  Apparently it wasn't commonly heard in Calgary in the late '80s when the first Beaners opened. 

I wonder if they've ever had people complain about the name.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, October 9, 2015.

(You will ignore the actual date of this post.  You will ignore the actual date of this post.)

We saw only a small decrease this week, but a decrease of any size is still better than an increase. Gas in Saskatoon is now 105.9 cents a litre at most locations.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Strange Scheduling.

The fact I'm sitting here watching the Blue Jays on a Friday, and it's not even 11 AM, is odd.  If you're a Texas Rangers fan in Texas, where it's coming up on noon, it's only slightly less odd.  A lot of the audience for both teams will be busy at work, at school etc.  It would be really interesting to know who made the scheduling decision, and what they were thinking.  I know that getting in four games in one day meant compromises, but still....

Thursday, October 08, 2015

We Would Disagree.

I just looked at a picture of David Price's dog Astro.  I'm afraid my taste for dogs runs in a different direction.  Want a smaller dog?  Get a beagle or something. 

Sunday, October 04, 2015

The Truly Important Blue Jays Question.

Was today's top of the ninth at bat by Munenori Kawasaki his last appearance as a Blue Jay?  My personal dream scenario is Kawasaki hitting a walk off grand slam to win the World Series for the Jays.

Redundant Adjective.

This morning I looked at an ad for Dennys Restaurants hamburgers, which mentioned "melty cheeses."  I've  seen that combination in other ads.  It seems a bit odd to me, as I'm pretty sure all cheeses melt, especially when you put them on top of a hamburger fresh off the grill.  I suppose if you used a thick enough hunk of cheese it might not melt much.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, October 2, 2015.

Up we go again.  Gas jumped 6 cents a litre this week, leading to a price of 109.9 cents a litre at most locations.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

My Bedroom Is Dangerous!

Or is my bed?  In any case rolling over in bed early this morning I pulled a muscle in my lower left leg.  Ouch!  I should have had a blanket last night, as it was probably the relatively cool temperature that led to the muscle pull. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, September 25, 2015.

Last week it was up, this week it's down.  Gas in Saskatoon is 103.9 cents a litre at most locations.  I suspect it will hover just around the 100 cent mark for a week or two yet.

More Output!

Yes, I need to write more here.  Seriously, 10 posts in three weeks?  Unacceptable!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, September 18, 2015.

The prices at the pumps go up and down, up and down, up and down!

Unfortunately the direction in Saskatoon this week was up.  Gas in Saskatoon rose to 105.9 cents a litre at most locations.

This did lead to one interesting thing.  The gas pumps at the Shell station at the corner of 8th Street and Acadia Drive are currently out of service for maintenance.  Yet the price displayed on their digital sign went up just like the other stations.  This makes me wonder whether their sign isn't automatically adjusted someplace else, with no input from them.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

What Would Maggie Think?

Barack Obama has been advocating for a woman to appear on the US ten dollar bill.  In last night's Republican candidate debate Jeb Bush suggested Margaret Thatcher.  It makes me wonder what she'd think.  No, not what she'd think of her face being on the bill.  She would have loved that.  No, I wonder what she'd think of the current batch of candidates.  I wouldn't be surprised if she thought they were a bunch of clowns.  Whether she'd say it in public is another question.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Mmmm, Roast Beef Sandwich.

So, did I make you hungry?  I just had one, with the best kind of roast beef, the home made kind.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Breakaway+16+40.

Another year has gone by, and once more it's Breakaway Day.  On this day 16 years ago a massive explosion of Nuclear Disposal Area 2, on the Moon's far side, sent the Moon out of Earth's orbit, flinging it into deep space.  For the survivors on Moonbase Alpha it was the beginning of a journey across the Universe.

In our world this year also marks the fortieth anniversary of Space: 1999 hitting TV screens in the UK and elsewhere.  For those of us who saw the show when it was new it's weird to think we first saw it that long ago.  At the time it was the only new science fiction TV series set in space, its contemporaries such as The Six Million Dollar Man and The Invisible Man being set primarily or entirely on Earth. 

Space: 1999 was created in an era when the possibilities for manned space exploration seemed huge.  Men had landed on the Moon, Skylab was active, and plans were in the works for the joint Soviet-American Apollo-Soyuz mission.  So it's no surprise that the series envisioned manned spaceflights to the outer Solar System in the mid '80s and '90s, and a manned base on the Moon.  Years later Gerry Anderson would admit he was overly optimistic in setting the show in 1999, but everyone else was thinking the same kind of things as well.  Of course we would have a base on the Moon soon.  Unfortunately for everyone space travel in the real world proved a lot more complicated than it did on TV.

As with everything else fandoms for television have changed a lot in that forty years.  It's funny to think of how fandom then was pretty much entirely based around printed material, including whatever licensed material was released in connection with a series, articles in commercial publications and newspapers, and fan publications exchanged between local fans or sent by mail.   By modern standards the amount available was generally quite limited, and it often took weeks or even months for news to reach fans.  Things like fan art and fanfiction existed, but distribution was limited to the small publishing runs of whatever fan publication it was submitted to. 

I watched "Breakaway" tonight on a Sony Walkman.  No, the tiny screen isn't an optimal way to watch a TV episode, but it seemed appropriate to watch it on something that would have seemed amazingly high tech and exciting to the 8 year old version of me who watched the series in 1975 and 1976, a gizmo that could have been lifted right from the set of the show itself.  (Well, perhaps if it was beige plastic, not the lovely wine colour mine is.)  Even being able to watch an episode whenever you want would have seemed exciting in an era before people owned VCRs to record things, and before commercially released TV episodes existed.  That's of course one of the greatest changes from the mid '70s, the instant access to programs and information we have.  And of course it's something that isn't reflected at all in the series. But hey, most other science fiction of the '70s didn't get it right either.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, September 11, 2015.

Gas prices have dropped below the dollar mark, albeit barely.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 99.4 cents a litre at most locations.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Toronto Isn't Canada.

Look around and you'll see a bunch of "Today is the first day of school in Canada" stuff, such as newspaper articles and a banner for Google's Canadian users.  That may be the case in Toronto, but it isn't everywhere in Canada.  In Saskatoon for example public school classes for grade school and high school kids started September 1.  Remember, Toronto isn't the centre of the Universe, or Canada.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Riders Win.

Finally.  It seemed at times so far this season they might never win.  They played well, better than they'd played in a good while, and the number of penalties Winnipeg received didn't hurt.  And the funny thing is, with 8 games left in the season, the Riders could still make the playoffs.  It seems unlikely, but weirder things have happened.

Byebye Retro, Hello CN Canada.

I've never watched Teletoon Retro, their channel for old cartoons, much.  So I was surprised to see it listed as "Off Air" on my Shaw cable box this morning.  But programming was running when I turned to the channel.  It turns out that Corus, the owner of Teletoon Retro, has folded the channel in favour of Cartoon Network Canada. CN Canada hadn't been previously available from some major Canadian providers, such as Shaw and Rogers, for reasons known only to them.  Teletoon Retro had wider carriage, so replacing it with CN Canada instantly increased the latter's coverage.  So if you've been waiting for CN Canada to appear on your cable package check out your local listings.  It should be noted that some systems have had Teletoon Retro replaced with Corus's new Disney Channel Canada.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

First Out.

Condolences to Cincinnati Reds fans.  The Reds unfortunately became the first MLB team eliminated from winning their division.  It's going to be a long month for you guys.  The Brewers will probably be joining the crowd within the next day or two.  Both teams are technically still in contention for the wildcard, but that door too is getting pretty close to closing. 

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Drive A Little Slow.

It's September 1, so don't forget that school speed zones are now in effect in Saskatoon Monday to Friday.  So when you see those signs slow to 30 kilometers an hour.  An added incentive to slow down is that some school zones, such as the one along Konihowski Road, have photo radar equipment.  So you can get a ticket even without cops being on the scene.  So those few seconds you think you'll save by ignoring the signs could be quite expensive.

And do you really want to risk hitting a kid?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, August 29, 2015.

Yep, I'm a day late.  But I wanted to get this in, since this is the last weekend of the month.  This week saw several drops in the price of gas.  The final drop left us with a price of 103.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Definitely an improvement over the 124.9 cents a litre it had reached earlier this month.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, August 21, 2015.

There was a bit of relief for Saskatoon drivers this week.  Gas in Saskatoon dropped to 118.9 cents a litre at most locations.  It will be interesting to see if the large jump up earlier this month boosts Canada's inflation rate for August.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Get Well, John.

Former Blue Jays and current Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell has announced he has stage one lymphoma.  This is good news for very bad news, as this means his cancer has been caught early and hence is highly treatable.  Here's hoping he gets well soon.  In his absence Torey Lovullo will be interim manager.

Brendan Ryan's Moustache.

With the Jays playing the Yankees twice within the span of a week I've been exposed to the moustache of Yankees player Brendan Ryan.  Does anyone find it makes them think of the moustache Yankee great Don Mattingly used to have?  Ryan looks like he could have stepped out of a '80s baseball card. 

Gas In Saskatoon, August 14, 2015.

Saskatoon drivers got a rather unpleasant surprise this week.  The price of gas jumped from 108.9 cents a litre at most locations to 124.9 cents a litre.  Yep, a jump of 16 cents a litre.  The price increase is being blamed on a partial shutdown of an Indiana refinery, despite the fact none of our gas comes from Indiana. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Blue Jays In First.

It's really nice to be able to say and write that.

Thank You, Cleveland Indians.

Because of you the Jays are now half a game behind the Yankees for the lead in the American League East.  Do us a favour and beat them again tonight.

While we're talking, you probably should consider changing your name one of these days.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Subpar Sunday Sundae.

Last night I had some food from Burger King for supper.(Cue someone's overwrought gasp of horror.)  I decided to get a caramel sundae to go with it.  I'm afraid I have to give it a thumbs down.  The ice cream(or perhaps to be technically accurate, soft serve) was alright,  but the caramel sauce largely sank to the bottom of the cup, and it tasted bland.  It definitely comes in a very poor second to McDonald's version of the same product, and I won't be ordering one again.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Broom, Broom.

The Blue Jays have just swept the Yankees.  This comes after they swept the Minnesota Twins in a four game series, something they've never done before.  The Yankees managed to score a grand total of one run against the Jays in this series.  The Jays are now a game and a half behind the Yankees for the lead in the American League East.  Pretty wild, pretty wonderful.

It sure makes up for how badly the Saskatchewan Roughriders are playing if you're a fan of both teams.

Power Shortage.

It seems I need to have some 9 volt batteries around.  I accidently drained the one in my guitar tuner, and when I starting pulling them out of my other guitar gear I found most of them were dead or dying.  I managed to find one that isn't dead, but now I need several replacements.  Most of them can be powered by AC power, but a few are battery only, and using batteries is sometimes just convenient.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

"Pet Parents."

Who came up with that silly phrase?  No, you're not the parents of a dog or cat.  Unless you're secretly a dog or cat masquerading as a human being.  So don't call yourself a pet parent.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

When I Rule The World 28.

Texting and other playing with your phone will be forbidden when you're standing in line at the supermarket check out, airport check in etc.  You're supposed to be paying attention to the person behind the counter, not your electronic toy.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Good Show, Joe Lauzon.

Lauzon just beat Takanori Gomi at UFC Fight Night: Dillishaw vs. Barao 2.  Lauzon actually stopped the fight with Gomi by himself after knocking Gomi out.  Referee Herb Dean took another 20 seconds or so to agree with Lauzon.  It's good to see a fighter aware enough to know when to stop a fight without intervention.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Big 900.

It's finally happened.  I received my 900th Where's Willy hit tonight.  It's not a particularly interesting hit, but I can't complain.   This was my 754th bill hit, so my next milestone will be the 800 bills hit mark.  Hopefully my frequency of hits will pick up a bit soon, or that 800th bill to be hit will be sometime next year.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Tagging Up.

Lately I've been adding tags to some of my old blog posts.  As always it's really interesting to see the kind of things I wrote in the past, some of which I wouldn't write now because some of my attitudes have changed.  And of course it's interesting how many posts I used to write.  It would be great to put out that amount of posts again.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, July 17, 2015.

Another unstable week to report.  Gas rose this week to 113.9 cents a litre.  However it then fell yesterday to 106.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Will go up next week, down next week, or both?  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Ugly.

Anyone else think the caps they made the players in the MLB All Star Game wear are kind of ugly?

I've never really been a fan of the All Star Game.  It just doesn't seem that important to me.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, July 10, 2015.

A small drop to report this week.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 108.9 cents a litre at most locations.  But given the way prices have been bouncing around I'll be completely unsurprised if prices go back  up next week.

More Than I Expected.

If you've been paying attention to the Confederate battle flag controversy in the US you've probably heard that The Dukes of Hazzard has been pulled from the rerun network TV Land.  The Dukes drove around in a Dodge Charger with a Confederate flag on the rood, so a lot of people don't think it's a good idea to be showing the series.  Thinking about the series this morning got me wondering how much fanfiction there is.  There's more than I thought.  Fanfiction.net, the biggest fanfiction site, has more that 1100 stories based on the series.  That's a lot more than some other series of similar vintage. 

Sonic Frustration.

I'm sitting here listening to CBC Radio One on AM on my clock radio.  You can occasionally hear lightning static in the background.  Alas that thunderstorm isn't nearby.  We really need some rain.  The forecast says there's a chance of rain this afternoon and tomorrow, but so did a bunch of previous forecasts with no results.

So if you've got a weather machine, send some rain our way.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

"Does This Store...

...make me look fat?"

This odd version of a cliché phrase came to mind when I heard that  the Save-On-Food grocery store chain will be coming to Saskatchewan.  Save-On-Foods is part of the Overwaitea Food Group, which still includes 15 Overwaitea grocery stores in BC.  It's a name that seems a bit odd to still see in our weight obsessed era, given how close it sounds to overweight.  Not that there seems to be any intent to operate Overwaitea branded stores in Saskatchewan.

Where might Save-On-Foods set up shop in Saskatoon?  The new Brighton neighbourhood, which is just starting to be created on Saskatoon's east side is an obvious location.  Getting the first grocery store in the area could be a big advantage to a new to the city chain.  Another possibility is the Cumberland Square property on 8th Street, which is about to be demolished as part of a major redevelopment.  It would have the possible disadvantage of a Sobeys being across the street.  Existing Safeway stores would also be a potential problem for the other potential locations, the now empty Target spaces in the Centre Mall and Lawson Height Mall, and the old Zellers space in Market Mall.  Market Mall also has its ongoing demographic problem, being located in a neighbourhood with one of the oldest per capita populations in Canada.

Stores are also planned for Regina, Moose Jaw, and Yorkton.  I could see them building a store in Martensville or Warman at some point giving the growing population of those towns and nearby Dalmeny, more that 15 thousand people between them at this point.

Whatever the case you aren't likely to be shopping in a Save-On-Foods store here anytime soon.  Even if construction were to begin in short order I doubt we'd see a store open before the Spring of 2016 at the earliest.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Guess They've Never Met Any.

I had to roll my eyes at a clickbait ad I just saw.  It's one of those "Do this weird thing to avoid X!" type of ads, and the headline claimed Chinese men never go bald.  Sounds like someone needs to get out of their office for a bit. Chinese men are less likely to bald than white men, but many do. 

Monday, July 06, 2015

BK Chicken Fries.

Chances are you've seen the ads for them if you're a Canadian.  After being bombarded by them for several weeks I decided to try some today.  I don't think I'll buy them again.  They weren't horrible, but they were kind of tasteless, and the chicken seemed a bit rubbery.  Perhaps my package sat on the warming tray too long, and I suspect the amount of chicken in each one is a bit too little for good flavour.  On the other hand a combo with medium fries and medium drink was $6.30, which is a nice price.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, July 3, 2015.

Another pingpong week to report, which generally isn't a good  thing.  At the start of the week gas dropped to 105.9 cents a litre.  But now it has jumped back up.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 110.9 cents a litre at most locations.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Good Bye, Chris.

What an unpleasant surprise tonight when I learned Chris Squire died yesterday of leukemia.  He was 67.  Squire was the only consistent member of Yes from its formation in 1968 to his death, and was one of the most influential rock bass players of the 1970s.  In memoriam here are a couple of great examples of his playing with Yes.
 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Geezering Continues.

Once again I find myself questioning Bellator's promotional strategy.  Yesterday they signed Josh Koscheck.  Yes, some people will no doubt argue at 37 I shouldn't be calling him a geezer, but chronological age is a bit more complicated in the fight game.  Koscheck has been fighting regularly, his last bout being on March 15th of this year, but he's lost five in a row, his last win coming February 4, 2012.  So it's not hard to see why the UFC decided not to renew his contract.  His new Bellator contract has been described as multiyear, but it's hard not to think this is wishful thinking, unless he gets some soft opponents.  Is nostalgia really something you want to hang your ratings hopes on?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Attention, Anti-Gay Marriage Americans!

Canada has had gay marriage for a decade.  So that idea you had about moving up here because of today's US Supreme Court ruling?  Think again.

Oh, and we also don't let people buy handguns like candy, which some of you also think is a good idea.

Gas In Saskatoon, June 26, 2015.

It's sad that gas prices never seem to go down as fast as they can go up, but down is better than up.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 110.9 cents a litre at most locations.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Go Phillies!

Keep it up.  Pound on the Yankees again tonight.  Over here in Blue Jays land you did us a favour. Of course the Jays helped themselves by winning at Tropicana Field, a place they've had trouble winning in over the years.  Who knows, maybe this is the beginning of your stunning comeback.

Of course you guys need to lose when you play the Jays later this year, especially if they're still in contention.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Have We Met?

I mean this quite literally.  I sometimes wonder if anyone who has passed through here is someone from my past. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Ken Shamrock Versus Kimbo Slice.

Come on.

Seriously, Bellator, what the hell were you guys thinking?  Shamrock is too old, and Slice never lived up to the hype once he hit the MMA circuit.  And the fight was pretty awful, as I'd expected  Please, rethink your strategy.

Gas In Saskatoon, June 19, 2015.

A bit of relief at the pumps this week.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 113.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Now you 'll have a bit extra to buy that chocolate bar you wanted.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Reality Asserts Itself.

There are times when  I think it would be cool to be an umpire.  Then I see one get hit by a ball, or a bat, and realise I'm too much of a chicken to stand behind the plate for nine innings.  I'd spend more time worrying about getting whacked than umpiring properly.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, June 12, 1015.

Another pingpong week, and in a bad way.  At the start of the week gas dropped to 105.9 cents a litre.  Unfortunately things went up quite a bit Thursday.  Gas is now 117.9 cents a litre at most locations. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

All Hail The Royal!

I'm in the middle of playing a sit and go on PokerStars.  And for the first time in who knows how long I had a Royal Flush.  I was playing JK clubs, and flopped an ace high flush.  A player ahead of me went all in with pocket aces, and of course I called. The third player in the hand folded.  A 10 of clubs came on fourth street, and the Queen of clubs on the river, giving me the Royal.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Visitor Caution.

I had a hit this morning from Saudi Arabia.  I'm not sure if I've had one before, but they're definitely rare if I have.  In any case the visitor came via the "next blog" link on a blog featuring what the author describes as dirty jokes in Hindi and Punjabi.  That made me wonder about the advisability of reading that blog in Saudi Arabia, a notoriously controlling place.  At least they're not in Arabic, and presumably any sort of Saudi censorship group wouldn't have a Hindi or Punjabi speaker on call to read random blogs.  I doubt the Saudi government would think much of this blog either.  That's fair, since I don't think much of religion distorted dictatorships.

Monday, June 08, 2015

The Streak Ends.

Alas, my streak has come to an end.  I got a hit on one of my Where's Willy marked bills this morning, and it came from Saskatoon.  This ended a streak of ten consecutive bills that had a hit from outside Saskatoon.  On the other hand this was hit 896(and bill hit 750), so I've got only 4 more hits to reach 900 hits.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Even There.

A bit ago I was, unfortunately, thinking about the Duggar mess again.  And that made me wonder if there was Duggar related material on the popular art site Deviantart.  I was unsurprised to see that there was.  There's not much, and in fact a lot of it isn't favourable to them.  I would imagine there's also Duggar fanfiction, pro or con, out there, as pretty much anything that can be considered a fandom generates fanfic.  You'll forgive me if I don't do any research on whether there's Duggar porn, especially now.

Gas In Saskatoon, June 5, 2015.

Another pingpong week to report.  Gas prices jumped to 111.9 cents a litre to start the week.  However midweek they dropped back down to 107.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Fortunately for me I put in gas after the price drop.

Monday, June 01, 2015

It Wasn't Woody.

But I did see a woodpecker on my lawn a few minutes ago.  Specifically a Northern Flicker, who seemed to be finding something good to eat.  For some reason I find these birds quite appealing, even if the amount of time they're visible here each year is small. 

Did You Sea The King?

Hopefully you'll forgive the pun title to this one. 

I swear I saw a Sea King helicopter fly over Saskatoon this morning.  Did anyone else see a chopper they thought was a Sea King?  If so I wonder who it belongs to.  I doubt the Canadian Forces would be using any of theirs over Saskatchewan at the moment.  It could be a civilian version of the Sea King, an S61, flown by a private operator.

Dry.

Last night's forecast called for rain.  We got a few spots for about a minute, then nothing.  Looks like I'll be watering the lawn and garden, which I didn't want to do.  I also didn't get to see any cool lightning.  Everything seemed to pass to the north and south of Saskatoon.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Goodbye, May.

Yeah, a meaningless post, but I wanted to get one more in this month.

A Sad Lack Of Patience.

So sad.  I'm currently playing a sit and go on PokerStars.  One of the players at my table ended up being the bubble boy, and there was no need for it.  He had a good stack, and a sitter was about to get blinded and anted off.  But apparently this guy wasn't paying attention to the other table where the sitter was, because he decided to go all in with AQ, only to be beaten by another player with AK.  There was absolutely no need for it, all he had to do was wait a couple of hands.  Instead he ended up with nothing.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Hello, Calabogie, Ontario.

You're the site of my latest Where's Willy hit.  Living out west I'd never heard of Calabogie before.  This is also the ninth consecutive hit I've had that's been from a location outside of Saskatoon.  As you can probably imagine I'm most likely to see a bill get a hit in Saskatoon than outside it.  And this latest hit is hit 894, putting me a step closer to my 900th hit.

Today's Plans Aren't Working.

Fortunately they weren't the "best laid plans," so no real loss.

Video On Demand Is Evil.

Playing around with it this morning led to an expensive mistake.  At least it was a mistake involving something I actually watch when it's free.

Saskatoon, 4:30 AM.

What is Saskatoon like that early on a Saturday morning?  Quiet.  Saskatoon is not yet a 24 hour a day place like some other places.  There are a few oases of activity, like Macs and 7/11 stores, Burger King and McDonalds, and the ubiquitous Tim Hortons.  Not to mention the places you don't want to be, like hospital emergency rooms.  But generally the streets are pretty much empty.  I can't imagine that changing much anytime soon.  There just aren't enough night shift workers and other night owls to make say opening am all night grocery store or Walmart worth the outlay.

Up Too Early.

Who wants to get up at quarter to 4 on a Saturday?  My parents have a flight early this morning to Newfoundland, so they need a driver.  I hate to think what a taxi cab out there would cost these days.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, May 29. 2015.

Down is always better than up, but it would be nice to see a bigger down that this.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 102.9 cents a litre at most locations.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, May 22, 2015.

This week things went up.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 104.9 cents a litre at most locations.  It may actually be going down as I write this, but unfortunately I can't spend all my time watching signs, waiting for the next change.

Today's Dumbdumb.

Obviously there are zillions I could choose from.  But today I will highlight a very local one.  I live a couple of blocks from Sid Buckwold Park.  Sometimes people park cars they have for sale by the park on McKercher Drive, hoping to get some cheap advertising.  Today someone parked their for sale red Ford Taurus by the park. Just about right in the middle of the bus stop, by the bus shelter and its associated garbage can/bench.  I seriously can't imagine how they could miss them, along with the associated bus stop signs in front and behind where they parked. 

I suspect they won't enjoy the parking ticket they're certain to get, or having to get their vehicle out of impound if it ends up being towed.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sunday, May 17, 2015

How Could You, Jeph?

You can't have Hannelore come down with some terrible disease.  After all, it's Hannelore. At least it's not likely to be Butts Disease.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, May 15, 2015.

Whoops, just about missed it this time, but here it is.  Gas in Saskatoon dropped just a little this week.  Gas is now 95.9 cents a litre at most locations.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I'll Take Some Other Route.

I watched most of an episode of Railroad Alaska Tuesday night on the Canadian Discovery Channel.  I don't think I'll bother with another.  It's another reality show where it seems a little too staged for its own good.  No, the cast aren't professional actors, but a lot of what's onscreen is pretty obviously hyped up to things seem more dramatic than they really are. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

There Was More.



German singer Peter Schilling is a classic example of a one hit wonder(internationally at least).  His 1983 single "Major Tom(Coming Home)" was a major hit in various markets, including Canada and the US.  Nothing else Schilling released had any international impact.  But of course, being recorded in the album era, the song was part of an album, Error in the System.   "I Have No Desire" was another song on the album, and it's quite catchy.  The lyrics seem just as relevant in our era of 24 hour media saturation as they did in during the Cold War tensions of the early '80s.

The early and mid '80s were a good time to be a German group, with acts such as Trio, the Scorpions, Nena, and Alphaville making an international splash.  You could also include American Tony Carey as well, as his albums, under his own name and as Planet P Project, were recorded in West Germany with mainly German musicians.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, May 8, 2015.

After a period of stability we had a ping-pong week.  At the beginning of the week gas jumped to 101.9 cents a litre, before dropping back to 97.9 cents a litre midweek.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

May Thunder.

As I write this a thunderstorm is passing through Saskatoon.  A bit unusual for this time of year, but it was predicted in the 4 PM forecast.  Thunderstorms were predicted a couple of times in April, but didn't occur.  There have even been a couple of cool streaks of lightning.

I Hate Answering The Phone.

Please don't phone me.  Not that many people do.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

When I Rule The World 27.

Only cats and dogs whose appearances I like will be allowed.  Cats and dogs with smushed in faces, dogs that look like rats pretending to be dogs, those scary hairless cats, all will be forbidden.  Seriously, why would you want ugly little dogs when you could have something appealing, like a beagle?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What A Range.

We still have a bit of snow on the ground.  Yet the temperature as I write this is 28 degrees Celsius(over 80 degrees Fahrenheit for you non-metric folks).  It seems like Summer and Winter at the same time, and it's swung that far in less than a week.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Just A Little Extra.

If you're really into filing your tax return late this will make you happy.  Due to an error at the Canada Revenue Agency the deadline for filing tax returns has been moved to May 5th.  Of course if you'd done your taxes weeks ago you wouldn't have worried about the deadline in the first place.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

You'd Better Not Forget.

It's just a few days until the deadline for Canadian tax returns for 2014, unless of course you file more than yearly.  So make sure you get it done.  You don't want to piss off Mr. Wilson and Mr. Heath, especially since they're dead.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Winter Returns.

Well, not really.  But it is snowing quite heavily here today.  There might be less than a week left in April, but snow at this time of year isn't much of a surprise.  Good thing for me I still had my winter jacket handy, since I decided to go out via bus for a bit today.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, April 17, 2015.

It's always nice to see the price of gas drop, at least if you're a consumer.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 93.9 cents a litre at most locations.  This time last year it was hovering around the 130 cents mark.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Pathetic.

The month is half gone, and this is only the fourth post I've written.  This is definitely not acceptable. 

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Not Many Customers.

Doing a search on eBay tonight I noticed that one product was listed as coming from Korea, South.  In a way the South part is probably redundant.  After all I doubt the typical North Korean is allowed to buy or sell on eBay, or that PayPal would accept North Korean won as payment.  The handful of people that might conceivably be allowed access to eBay no doubt use some other method of acquiring goods.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, April 2, 2015.

A nice Easter treat for Saskatoon drivers, a price drop.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 97.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Hopefully we won't see a price increase for a while.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Target Lost.

Today was the end of Target's operations in Saskatoon.  The Mall at Lawson Heights store closed yesterday.  The Centre at Circle and 8th store will end operations tonight.  I went to the latter last night, assuming it would be less busy than today.  Frankly it looked almost like a riot had taken place.  Most of what was left was clothing, and much of that was scattered around the store.  From the looks of it some stuff was dropped by customers who decided at the last minute not to buy things.  This seems consistent with news reports about other Target outlets, with employees noting piggish behaviour by would be customers.(I'm probably insulting pigs by saying that.)

Target likely holds as much of the blame as the customers do.  I was in those same stores when Zellers, the previous holder of those spaces, closed their doors in 2013.  Even at the very end the Zellers stores looked neater that what I saw yesterday.  It seemed as if some of the employees were still willing to put some effort at making a good impression.  Perhaps the difference then was that Zellers had generated loyalty in both its customers and its employees, and Target's Canadian operations never managed to do that.

I've never been to an American Target store, but there were multiple news reports that Canadian buyers didn't find the experience the same, or the prices as low.  This strikes me as naïve on their part.  Surely some of these people must have visited Walmarts in the US, and noticed the Canadian ones weren't clones of the American stores, especially when it came to price.  Operating in Canada is always going to be a bit more expensive than the US, even when the Canadian dollar is closer to the US one, as it was when Target opened.

In the end though Target's disastrous Canadian foray was the result of their own mistakes.  Reports indicated an inability to understand the Canadian market, and an unwillingness to change their ways until it was too late, which seems odd.  You'd think someone at Target would have realised the value of hiring former or even current Walmart executives, given the latter's long and successful operations in Canada.  Along with price complaints the most commonly heard criticism of Target was their lack of selection, which was obvious even to the casual customer, and which they never managed to correct.  To me at least the Saskatoon stores lacked any sort of energy that would encourage customers to become regular patrons.  This was a result of that lack of selection and other things, like the absence of any sort of music or customer information from an in store PA system.  They may also have hurt themselves with their unwillingness to offer previous Zellers employees preference in hiring for the new stores, people familiar with the markets they were serving.

Given how poorly they did in Canada, a country with strong cultural similarities to the US, and a common language, English, spoken in most of the country, I hate to think they might have done if they'd picked a non-English market as their first expansion attempt.  Target's foreign expansion plans are likely to remain on the back burner for a long time to come given what has happened here.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

No Future.

Another long running name leaves the Canadian retail landscape with the demise of Future Shop.  American owner Best Buy abruptly closed the chain this morning, with no warning to customers or staff.  Saskatoon's Future Shop outlet, at Preston Crossing, will be one of 65 that is converted into a Best Buy store, joining the existing Best Buy at the Centre at Circle and 8th. 

It's unfortunately probably been overdue.  The consumer electronics retail business has been contracting for years, with many buyers switching to online sources like Amazon, or even the online divisions of Future Shop and Best Buy.  It's a different market than when Future Shop opened its first store in 1982, or when Best Buy purchased them in 2001.  And operating both brands has always been a bit odd, as one unit of the company has been competing with the other.  Whether running two stores in a market like Saskatoon, but now under the same name, is viable remains to be seen. 

If you're a now let go Future Shop employee I hope you find a replacement job as soon as possible.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Not Recommended.

If at all possible avoid slipping on an icy step and smashing your knee, the right knee you always seem to hurt in such situations, into it.  Such activities tend to really screw up your walking.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

I'm Lazy.

There's this post I could write, but at the moment I can't make myself get off my ass and write it.  After all, who wants to put out much effort on a Sunday?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Trip.

My parents and I drove out to Allan today, just for something different to do.  It was kind of dead, which is probably not surprising for noon on a Saturday.  We had lunch in the local Chinese restaurant.  Allan doesn't have the same kind of vibrancy as places like Martensville and Warman do, although they're obviously trying to go in that direction.  But it's a boomtown compared to the nearby village of Elstow, which we also drove through.  Elstow looks pretty sad and worn out, and it wouldn't surprise me if a decade or so from now it's effectively gone.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, March 20, 2015.

Rather a jump to report this week.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 102.9 cents a litre at most locations, an 8 cent jump.   I'll be totally unsurprised if we see another price increase next week.

Backtracking.

We were doing so well.  The snow was rapidly disappearing.  But overnight Saskatoon ended up seeing more snow.  Spring may be about to spring, but that doesn't mean snow won't come back for a visit.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Him Too.

As a followup to this post I should note that my dad saw a rabbit this morning.  He saw one running across the road on 25th Street near the police station.  Downtown isn't a good place to be running for a rabbit.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, Friday March 13, 2015.

A small tick down to report this week.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 94.9 cents a litre at most locations.  As always it will be interesting to see if it goes up at all as the next holiday, in this case Easter, approaches.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Quite The Spread.

I decided I wanted a Kit Kat tonight.  The Dollarama at Centre Mall, which is where I would normally buy one, is currently closed as they move from one end of the mall to the other.  Their price before tax for one is 77 cents.  So I went into Shoppers Drug Mart.  Their price?  $1.69 before taxes.  Since I had to drive past it to go home anyway I went into Sobeys to buy one.  Their price?  $1.19 before taxes.  I hate to think what 7/11 charges for one these days.

It makes me wonder what the wholesale cost of a Kit Kat, or other chocolate bars, is.  You'd think Dollarama wouldn't have a purchasing advantage over the other companies that allows for such a low price compared to the others, but you never know.  Is Dollarama counting on selling that many more of them to make up for a much smaller profit per bar?  Or is Shoppers making a lot of money per bar with that markup? 

Ironically the new Dollarama location is across the mall from Shoppers in Centre West.  I wonder if that will hurt Shoppers candy sales any more than the old location, in Center East, did.

Can I Create A Hashtag?

I guess I can try.  As a followup to the previous post, #getwellmarcus.

It Already Looks Long.

The Major League Baseball season is a long one.  And if you're a Blue Jays fan it already seems like it's going to be a very long one, even though it's still weeks away.  Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman has torn a ligament in his knee, and will be out for the season.  The Jays really can't afford to lose a starter, especially one like Stroman,, who looks like he could be very good.  Of course the length of the baseball season, 162 regular season games, means a lot of stuff can happen.  Maybe the Jays will get lucky.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Are The Rabbits Listening?

This morning I commented to my dad that I was overdue for seeing a rabbit.  It seems I see one every few months.

Off to Lakeshore Crescent I went this morning.  What did I see as I began to walk around the area?  A jackrabbit.

Maybe they're listening in on us somehow.

Monday, March 02, 2015

A Growing Food Trend.

A Villa Madina outlet has been added the food court at the Centre at Circle and 8th.  Like a lot of recent businesses it uses electronic signage instead of old fashioned printed signs.  One of the pieces of information on its video loop is that the meat at Villa Madina is certified halal.

Saskatoon's Muslim population has increased considerably in recent years.  Along with that increase has been increased visibility of halal food products.  You can find them both in stores catering to local Muslims, and in places like Real Canadian Superstore.  So a restaurant that advertises the halal status of its food is no surprise.  On the other hand I'm sure it's a pleasant surprise for those looking for more halal eating options.

I don't expect we'll see halal meat in a lot of the older fast food places.  It probably wouldn't be worth the bother given that other menu items won't be halal, like anything that includes pork products.  And of course Muslims will vary in their willingness to accept non-halal food products.  For some it will be a very important issue, for others it will be quite far down the list of what they worry about.

Incidentally I went up to the mall to visit Co Op to pick up some frozen hamburgers.  The hamburgers in question have no indication of halal certification on the box.  Not that I was looking for such certification when I bought them, not being a Muslim. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, February 27, 2015.

For once my prediction was correct.  Gas did go up this week.  Gas in Saskatoon is as high as 102.9 cents a litre at some stations, while others raised their price only to 97.9 cents a litre.  The price increase is being blamed on a refinery fire in California and a strike by US refinery workers.  Yeah, we don'\t get our gas from California, so that seems like a poor excuse.  And some observers predict gas will jump another 5 cents a litre or more next week.

Goodbye, Leonard.

I doubt there will be any chance of you missing this.  But I just couldn't let the death of Leonard Nimoy go by unmentioned.  Like most people who grew up in the '70s, and had any sort of interest in sci fi TV, Star Trek was such a fixture.  And so another familiar face of my childhood is gone.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Note To One Gerard O'Neill.

Your insults need a lot of work.  They're lacking in originality and creativity.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Funny Place For Humble.

I had a blog visitor from Humble, Texas yesterday.  Texas is not a place I associate with the term humble.  I'm sure some Texan would argue otherwise.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, February 20, 2015.

The trend was a bit more clear this week, and it's down.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 92.9 cents a litre at most locations, following a drop earlier in the week to 95.9 cents a litre.  But I'll be entirely unsurprised if it goes back up again early next week.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

When I Rule The World 26.

Everyone will have to read this blog at least twice a day.  It won't matter whether I've written anything lately or not.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"Flop Has A Name."

That apparently should have been on the posters for Johnny Depp's latest film, Mortdecai, instead of the actual slogan of "Sophistication Has A Name."  The film has been out less than a month, and it's already in the cheap theatres in Saskatoon.   The film had a reported 60 million dollar budget, but it has apparently made just over a third of that worldwide.  Of late Depp seems to be able to make nothing but flops, often as a result of bad choices in roles, the most obvious being as Tonto in The Lone Ranger.

Years ago I watched an interview with Michael Caine, and the interviewer asked him about some of the poorer movies he'd been in.  Caine commented that he generally didn't turn down roles because he figured they might stop calling if he did.  One would think Depp wouldn't be worried about that given how much money he's made.  So it seems more likely Depp just has bad taste, although Caine also commented that you can't tell whether a movie will be good just by the script.  Perhaps Depp needs to reconsider taking roles that rely on him doing gimmick characters.

What's next for Depp?  Apparently a Kevin Smith film called Yoga Hosers.  Depp will also be appearing in Black Mass this fall, a film about Irish-American mobster Whitey Bulger, which strikes me as the kind of film Depp should be doing. 


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Roast Beef.

There are few things finer for Sunday supper.  Unless you're a vegetarian of course.

Another One Has Sucked Me In.

I've started reading David Willis's Dumbing of Age.  It's kind of interesting that it's an alternate universe of characters he's been writing since the 1990s.  Usually it's fanfiction writers that do that kind of thing.  Professional AU reboots of canons usually are done by people who aren't the original creators of a property, such as the numerous variations on Sherlock Holmes.

Stay Home.

If I never left the house, other than working, I'd probably have a lot more money.  It seems all but impossible to leave the house without ending up spending money.  Guess I need more self control.

Pot Limit Annoyance.

One of the minor things that annoys me about playing online pot limit poker is that some players will do nothing but hit the pot raise button over and over again.  They don't raise a smaller amount, they don't check, just mindlessly raise over and over.  It's the kind of thing that no one would do during an in the flesh poker game, at least anyone with any experience.

Crunch, Crunch.

At the moment I'm eating some Covered Bridge brand sea salt and vinegar potato chips.  I quite like the taste of these.  But the size available locally, at Dollarama, is a bit too big.  It's  a 102 gram size, which I really shouldn't be eating at one sitting.  Especially on a day where I'm doing nothing but sitting around the house.

How Not To Win Friends.

Talk about stupid.  The League of the South, a bunch of fanboys of the Confederate States of America, intend to honour John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln.  I'm sure that will rally a lot of people to their cause.  Oh wait, it won't.  Anyone likely to be attracted to the League by such behaviour is likely already a member.

No Buyers.

I was thinking about offering some of the snow we got last night for sale, but thinking about it there would be no buyers.  Given how much snow there's been in various parts of North America the last month who would be interested?  At the very least I would be underpriced by someone else with more snow and perhaps easier access to the big markets.  Too bad.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, February 13, 2015.

Rather a confusing week here for gas prices.  At the start of the week gas dropped to 95.9 cents a litre.  A couple of days later it dropped to 91.4 cents a litre.  But then it rose to 98.9 cents a litre yesterday.  In other words it's back to the same price it was last Friday.  Weird, isn't it?

Friday, February 06, 2015

It Won't Work.

For some reason I've seen a lot of ads online today for the latest season of Mr. D.  Sorry, CBC, but I won't be watching.  Seriously, does anyone actually think Gerry Dee is funny?  I guess someone does, or CBC wouldn't have given him a TV show.

Gas In Saskatoon, February 6, 2015.

Another price increase to report, and a fairly large one.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 98.9 cents a litre at most locations, a 9 cent price increase. 

Thursday, February 05, 2015

I Hope They Stayed Home.

If you're a Target Canada employee I hope the local assholes stayed away from your location today.  You've got enough problems without putting up with nasty idiots who are only there to pick the store's bones clean.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

No Super Bowl For Me.

Nope, didn't watch it.  Didn't watch the ads.  Didn't watch the halftime show.  Didn't watch the regular season games. 

The Cold Came Back...

...just in time to catch me on a Monday where I'll be spending several hours outside.  Woe is me.

Of course how annoying it will be will depend on how windy it is tomorrow.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, January 30, 2015,

The last Friday of January sees the upwards trend continue.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 89.9 cents a litre at most locations. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Paging...

...you, maybe?  Chances are you aren't one of those people who still has a pager.  But they actually still exist.   Via Randy McDonald here's a CBC article on the persistence of pagers in Canada.  They're primarily used by those in emergency services and medical personnel, as they're perceived to be more reliable in certain conditions.  However Telus has announced it will end its pager service, and industry watchers figure the other providers in Canada will follow suit. 

I can't think of the last time I heard a beeping pager.  Perhaps if I lived in a more rural area, or spent a lot of time around someone in medicine, I might be more likely to hear one.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Edgar Froese, 1944-2015.

Tangerine Dream founder, and sole consistent member, Edgar Froese has died at 70 of a pulmonary embolism.  In memoriam here's "Thru Metamorphic Rocks" from Tangerine Dream's 1979 album Force Majeure.  That's Froese on guitar.



Appropriately I was listening to a live version of "Choronzon" when I read he died.

Gas In Saskatoon, January 23, 2015.

It was a bit of a surprise this week when the price of gas actually went up.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 85.9 cents a litre at most locations.

Around this time in 2014 gas was 114.9 cents a litre.  So  a 30 litre fill today is roughly 9 bucks less than it was then.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Lovely January.

Seriously, can you get a better January forecast for Saskatoon than this one?  Daytime temps around or above zero into next week.  Sure makes up for the bitterly cold stretch around Christmas.  Of course if you're a fan of outdoor skating, skiing etcetera it isn't so good.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, January 16, 2015.

I doubt you'll have any trouble guessing what direction prices went this week.  Gas in Saskatoon dropped to 78.4 cents a litre at most locations.  Will it hit 70 cents or lower?  Stay tuned.

The Interview...

...is now playing at the Rainbow Cinemas in the Centre Mall.  Does that mean I should stay away from the mall for a while, in case North Korean commandos decide to attack?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Zero.

Zero can be a nice number.  One example is when you wake up just before 7 on a January morning and your outdoor thermometer says 0 Celsius.  Especially when just a few days ago it was -30 with very stiff winds.  Such is the variability of winter weather in Saskatoon.  Temperatures are expected to be nice into next week.  Of course it's a case of enjoy it while you can, because really cold temps will return.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

I Have A Bankroll Again.

I've  won $1.10 over at PokerStars.  So look out, I may soon be at a table near you.

Well, probably not.  It's not hard to go through a puny bankroll like that in short order.

Friday, January 09, 2015

When I Rule The World 25.

All radio stations will have to play "The Spirit of Radio" at least once a day, regardless of format.

Gas In Saskatoon, January 9, 2015.

I doubt you're surprised that the first of these posts for 2015 involves a price drop.  In fact it's a double dip week.  Gas in Saskatoon dropped to 85.9 cents a litre at the start of the week, and today dropped again, to 83.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Funny how the drops came after the holidays ended, when fewer people are making long trips.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Indoor Tent.

I just about need one right now.  It's below -30 Celsius tonight, and my bedroom tends to one of the colder rooms in the house.  I'm almost tempted to go buy an old style 60 or 100 watt bulb, which can still be found in places.  Unlike the LED bulb currently in my bedside lamp those generate some excess heat to warm things up.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Welcome To 2015.

You made it and I made it. 

Still, I kind of wish it was still 2005.  Of course for some of you reading this that would put you in the early years of grade school.  You're probably glad it's not 2005.