Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Snow


I did not buy it but I kinda feel like I did. I put in 8 months of shovelling to get to the point where Spring comes and I could put the shovel away ( Like a payment plan for good weather) and just when the time finally comes we get snow instead! Snow Sucks!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Turkey

Item: 1 Aunt Ella's Turkey
Price: $29.54 (Can)
Suck or not: not

I was a little nervous to buy a turkey from a company called Aunt Ellas's and even more so when I read on to learn that Aunt Ella's is a "Turkey Cooperative" whatever the hell that is. However the low price and large size were just to much for me to turn down and I brought it home. Well let me tell you this was a great turkey!!! Whatever the turkey cooperative is doing it sure make a good turkey.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Flight to Halifax

Item: 1 Roundtrip ticket to Halifax withCanjet
Price: $320
Suck or not: not

I do remember the olden days, you know, where "flight attendants" were both "stewardesses" and "hot", and ticket prices included a tasty - yet well proportioned - meal.

Alas, times have changed. Complimentary meals have gone the way of the dinosaur and "service with a smile" has been replaced with "sit down and squeeze in." Well, that was my distinct impression from the last few AC flights I've been on. I digress.

For $320 ($250 if I had waited a few weeks), I was impressed with the service on both the departure and return.

The "check in" people were very pleasant and did there best to make my trip pleasant from the outset. Greeted with a smile on both occasions, they asked for my seating preference. When there were no row or aisle seats available, they moved me into the emergency exit seat (or "the row that doesn't have a window seat because of the emergency exit"). They did the same with a friend of mine who checked in directly after me.

Our flight attendants were also very nice. On the way there, the attendant took time to calm down a child who was visibly upset with the prospect of flying. Had this been AC, I would imagine that the kid would have been sedated, or threatened with death.

After I ordered some cookies for my flight to halifax ($1 for 4 yummy cookies... sweet), the lovely flight attendant also recommended that the complimentary tea provided by Canjet would, well, compliment the cookies nicely. And did they ever!

That alone would have made my morning, but... BUT... the attendant actually prepared the tea and mixed the sugar in for me. Not only did it go well with the cookies, it was also perfectly prepared. My tastebuds were swimming.

This is a far cry from the weak tea and bag of sugar you get on an AC flight.

When on Canjet, get tea and cookies!

Room for improvement:

- both approaches were very shaky. I'm generally a big fan of the plane staying in a straight line when landing. But that could be me.

- The beverages were a bit pricey. C'mon - $2 for a can of pepsi? you're lucky the tea and cookies negates this transgression.

Overall: well done. I will fly with Canjet again.

Monday, August 07, 2006

1 "movie" ticket

Item: one ticket to see "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"
Price: $9
Suck or not: suck

I'm a pretty big movie buff, so you'll be getting the odd review here and there.

What I liked:

Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightly): For a character who is so central to plot development, I thought that she was way underdeveloped and underutilized during this film. Oh yeah, she's also hot.

Bootstrap Bill (Stellan Skarsgård): Another underdeveloped character. I loved what this guy brought to the table. The portrayal of the "lost" soul, condemned to an eternity of service aboard the Flying Dutchman was vivid. Seriously, I almost wanted to kill myself.

Costumes, makeup and FX: Very well done, especially for the Dutchman's crew.

What I didn't:

Fight Sequences: too long and predictable. In fact, because these sequences took a significant portion of my life away, I will not continue to talk about them.

Davy Jones (Bill Nighy): Overdone overdone overdone. I couldn't get over the fact that this is that prick from underworld... using the ..... Same..... Dis..jointed... walken-like diction.

Disjunctured plot: Where does Voodoo come in from the first movie? Have we moved away from ancient incan curses? Why are we in the louisiana outback? Why are we in the mountains? Why is the black pearl's crew hanging from a cliff? I don't quite get the explanation of the dice game, or it's relevance to Will finding Davy's key? How do these people move so fast in the caribbean? How did Jack become the god of a cannibalistic tribe? Didn't that other guy die in the first movie?

Length: There was a point, somewhere during that stupid fight sequence on the water mill (or whatever it was), where I thought "is this gonna end soon?" I felt the same way during the whole cannibal tribe sequence.

Why the bad outweighed the good:

Overall, despite some good performances, makeup and FX, the storyline seemed just too overwrought and unrefined."

Friday, August 04, 2006

Aircast

Item: Aircast, a plastic and foam cast used to imobilize the leg.

Price: 123.00

Suck or Not: Sucks ASS!!!

Details: Don't ever tear ligaments in your ankle... Or break your ankle. A month in one of these things will really cramp your style. At least in a real cast you know you can't take it off, but in one of these you can just whip it off to shower and sleep. But every damn Morning you have to strap it on and keep wearing it. I mean at least with a real cast you get some sympathy people seem to think an aircast means you aren't really that hurt and like to poke fun or kick you in the leg.

Meal At Bonnaza

Item: Full access to the reopened Bonnaza in North Edmonton.

Price: 14.75 plus tax and tip.

Suck or Not: NOT!!!!

Details: After seeing that a Bonnaza was open in Edmonton again after about 10 years I had numerous flashbacks to my childhood involving the memories of being so full I could not move and eating meals consisting entirely of soft serve icecream. After building up the hype for about a week Darren, Kevin, and I went there for dinner. It was way beyond what I was expecting. There was a huge variety of food, friendly staff who removed empty plates at warp speed and fresh made crepes for dessert were just a few of the positives. The only real downside was that aside from the three of us everyone there seemed a little on the "plump" side and it was often difficult to squeeze between tables to get to our thrid plate of food.

Note: Warren also was there for lunch and said it was great, Although he did here someone say, "Can't we get a table closer to the food?"

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Easton and CCM, in Copper and Blue

Item: complete set of hockey equipment (except skates)
Price: $560
Suck or Not: Not! And if anyone says otherwise I'll drop them with a crosscheck to the skull!

Details: So when I was home in Edmonton last week, I took advantage of the mid-summer hockey sale at Sport Check to load up on sweet gear for a fraction of what I'd pay in Boston. My needs were indeed dire...I've been using the same equipment (except for gloves and skates) for the last 13 years, a feat which was made possible by my overprotective parents who bought my last set of stuff about 6 sizes too big so I'd be "protected." I guess nobody ever explained the tradeoff between armour and mobility to them. But anyway, the gear was worn out and it was time to modernize!

So I walked into the Sherwood Park Sport Check in the lovely Sherwood Park Mall, eventually found a sales guy, and secured a 10% discount because I told him I needed "uhh, everything." Modern equipment is about 50% lighter and 80% more protective than my old stuff, and I loaded up on semi-high-end gear (last year's models!) for only $560!!! Just for comparison, the current models which weren't on sale would have cost me about $700...I even got some Oilers socks and an Oilers-coloured helmet. Bring on the MIT frat boys!!!!!!

Couch

Item: Leather couch
Price: $1200 (including conditioner, dilivery and 0% tax)
Suck or not: not

I won't lie to you. I loved my former roommate's couch as much as I love life itself. When that couch left, a part of me went with it.

Well, not really... it was a great couch and the 42 inch HD TV with surround sound didn't hurt either, but that went too. In anycase, buying a couch is no small task as they are often the centerpiece of any living or common room; it is something that shouldn't be trifled with.

There are many things to consider:

- colour?
- leather?
- does it provide a good ratio of comfort to support?
- how will it mesh with your current living room?
- how will it mesh with any future living room?

I ended up doing a fair bit of research and went to places like Leon's, EQ3, and the Brick. Many of these places offer some pretty sweet couches at reasonable prices. So, after much deliberation, I ended up purchasing the "Italian Designed" black leather sofa from "The Brick".

3 things:

1) The couch itself provides the ideal balance between comfort and support and the armrests are positioned in a way that allows for maximum head comfort while laying down.

2) In terms of style, it fits well in almost any setting (within reason). The general reaction is that it's a good centerpiece without being too risqué.

3) I got it in black because a) white leather couches are tacky and b) darkness rules!

It will take some time to break in the seat cushions, but overall, I'm pretty happy with this pick.

* this item is in the running for "best purchase of this calendar year."

Monday, July 24, 2006

Flowerbowl Disc

What I Bought: Discraft Ultrastar 175 ultimate disc with the 'Vancouver Flowerbowl' logo (white)
Cost: $10
Suck or Not: not

Well, I'm on a roll with this whole Vancouver trip...

This bad boy is sweet for three main reasons:

1) Cool logo
2) Discrafts are pretty good discs, although I find Daredevil (canadian) discs to be quite comparable.
3) Unlike my "Discraft Ultrastar 175 ultimate disc with the 'Atlanta Terminus' tournament logo" (which I paid ~$15 for), I haven't lost this disc within 2 hours of acquiring it...

.... granted, I'm not so sure i've even used it yet.

A free plane ticket for ~$37, 589

What I Bought: Air Canada Ticket - Ottawa to Vancouver (return)
Cost: $89 (plus 37, 500 aeroplan points)
Suck or Not: suck

Yeah, I know, it's been since, like, february. At least I'll have plenty to write about... assuming that I've bought something in the last 6 months or so.... I digress.

Details: Okay, so I went on a 4 day jaunt to Vancouver to play in flowerbowl, and eat sushi. I figured, "leave friday, return monday... in and out before I could feel a thing. Bonus: I thought "because I'm flying on points, I can get it super-cheap!" This is where AC tends to disagree.

So, I look at the available flights for 25,000 points (keep in mind that this is like 2.5 months before the tournament). The best available flight was :

Leave ottawa at 6 am thursday morning.
Connect in Toronto
Connect in Winnipeg
Arrive in Edmonton at midnight on thursday.
Connect to Vancouver on the 6am flight out of Edmonton on friday.

The return was something similar, perhaps one less connection.

Now don't get me wrong, these are all fabulous Canadian cities - but it touched me as, well, incovenient. And we're not even at the in-flight service.

So I upgraded to the 37,500 point trip and found a decent flight there, and back. But seriously, for ~38000 points plus ~$90 for a decent flight, I better be sitting in a gold chair with, well, other stuff.

The Movies: Our in flight movie was there was "firewall", which had probably the most improbable ending given it's general plot. On the way back we had "8 below", about a bunch of dogs stuck in the snow... a tear-jerker really.

The Service: Well, the servers were rude, slow, and generally overdone (i mean, use the makeup, don't abuse it) and AC recently decided not to give complimentary in-flight meals anymore. For main courses, we had a choice of cold beef wraps, microwaveable pizza, microwavable kung-pao chicken, or Mr. Noodles. Seriously. Since they were out of kung pao, i had to go for the beef wrap. It was horrible - stringy meat, unmelted processed cheese, a bit of onion, and whole wheat pita.... ick. oh, did i mention it was cold? Did i mention that everything was overpriced?

On the way back i had a harvey's brekky sandwich - a bit of egg, some grade H ham, and a tonne of melted cheese. Not so good. The same service.

As an aside, my roommate flew to vancouver a week later. He upgraded to business class to get a decent flight (45,000 points), and had a connection in toronto. AC actually tried to give him business class for the 45 minute flight from Ottawa to Vancouver and then put him in coach/whatever it's called these days, for the 4 hour flight to Vancouver. Needless to say, he wasn't impressed either.

Anyways, I'm generally a big fan of supporting canadian industry, but for the price and general lack of service, I can't say that I will fly AC for at least 1 year. I will also never use AC for any long-range flights.

Stay tuned for the "suck or not" evaluation for my Canjet flight out to Halifax!