Friday, November 30, 2012

Disappointing Saturday in Advance

Amanda has to work again tomorrow.  :-(

I told her that we'd delay our plan to visit the big craft fair until Sunday.  I'll probably head to breakfast at the Mason's Hall, and maybe come back to do some laundry and/or cleaning before Amanda returns home.

Then we're off to the Library's Christmas party in the evening!  Hopefully a fun time will be had by all.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Phone Issues

Amanda and I are discussing phones today.  My current phone is two years old and, notably, is not an iPhone.  I'm the black sheep when I hang out with Amanda, her sister, and her brother-in-law, who each own an iPhone 4S.

So I spent a half hour on my mobile provider's website looking at different phones and reading reviews that are written by people who have owned their new phone a single day and don't understand anything between a 1/5 rating and 5/5.  Almost all reviews were either "It's the best phone ever" or "This phone is the worst ever."  The few reviews that offered constructive criticism of the phones to help inform potential buyers were overwhelmingly marked as unhelpful by fans of the phone too.

So I was reminded once again.  Arguing on the Internet is a pointless endeavour.  I resolve not to bother rating my phone online if/when I change phones.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


It's cold.  It's definitely winter.

It was -17 today, and with the wind chill it was -27.  I (completely understandably) went for a walk at lunch time and returned to the library very cold.

To top it off, there's a snowfall warning for the Peace region.  I don't think Grande Prairie is expecting quite as much, but other areas might get between 15 and 20 cm between now and tomorrow night.

It is winter.  But it's not as cold this winter.  I get to cuddle up to Amanda every night!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Healthy Eating

Amanda and I plan to eat healthy sometimes.  We really do.  But then we get lazy sometimes and end up at Taco Time or making pizza at home yet again.

Then there are other times when we have the materials and things come together.  Over the last few weeks, we've bought salmon, a spaghetti squash, and asparagus for various meals we planned on making.  On Amanda's suggestion, I cooked the three of them for supper tonight.  It was fun (because of the spaghetti squash), tasty, and healthy.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Wedding Wine Tasting Part Two

Amanda and I continued our wine tasting tonight with Jacob's Creek, an Australian white wine.  It was good.  I'd put it close to the baby champagne we tried previously.  As a side benefit, it went really well with the nacho dip Amanda made for super tonight!

In short, it's definitely on the maybe list!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas Shopping Part One

Christmas shopping day
Nieces and nephews all done
Others yet to come.

Yup, Amanda and I spent this afternoon in stores doing some Christmas shopping.  We finished up the nieces and nephews today, and I finished shopping for my brother.  I think we've finished for Amanda's sister and brother-in-law too, so we're well ahead of the game with a month left!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Haiku Time Again

Some late night musings
No new photos, but hopeful
What will Sunday bring?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Shoe Haiku Time

Shoe closet hazard
Winter boots along sandals
Forbidden romance

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Post Phone Call Blues

*Thoughtful and depressing blog post alert*

(Amanda and I are fine -- this is about a different person)

If you're here for laughs and cute photos of Amanda, you won't find them here today.  Feel free to jump down the page to the wonderful photo of us together while I was wearing my completed scarf!

You have been warned.

I gave a friend some advice today.  I listened to everything that was going on and told her "get out of there."

It wasn't domestic abuse or anything anywhere near that level of horribleness, but I got a pit in my stomach just the same as I heard what was going on.  It's incredibly hard to see two people you like have their relationship (working, romantic, or otherwise) crumble to the point of no return.

All I could do is listen, and then confirm that the behaviour being shown now is replaying a cycle I've seen as a spectator before, and commiserate.

My friend is a strong, intelligent person who I have an incredible amount of respect for, and I know that if anyone can, she'll find a way through this.  I just hope that whatever happens and wherever she is at the time, she's still able to come to Amanda and my wedding next year.

I talked to Amanda about the whole phone call, but I still had to get a little more of it off my chest.  Thanks for your patience, and hopefully tomorrow I'll write some kind of silly haiku about our shoe closet.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


ZOMG!  It's *the* scarf!  And it's being worn in winter in a proper Kissing Couple of Grande Prairie photo.

My dreams have come true.

*happy sigh*

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Amanda and I went to see Skyfall tonight.

It was awesome.

I had my doubts for a little bit in the beginning, but it turned into a great movie and was worthy of Daniel Craig's other Bond outings.

The Good
  • Gritty, down to earth Bond again -- Daniel Craig and the filmmakers of the last three James Bond movies have nailed this.
  • Interesting plot with M as the target rather than Bond or someone/something else.
  • Q and his throwaway line about what Bond expected from him -- awesome reference to Goldeneye.
  • Judy Dench as M going from dismissing Bond as a Cold War relic in Goldeneye to being (essentially) dismissed as one herself.
  • The ending.  My inner fanboy said the following:  "OMG, SQUEEEEEEEEE!"
The Bad
  • Could they have possibly shown more of Daniel Craig topless?  To be fair, I think this appeared very high in Amanda's list of the good points.
Oh, before I wrap this up, was anyone else reminded of some of Skyrim's landscapes during the scenes in Scotland?  Or is that just because Skyrim is on my mind?

Monday, November 19, 2012

ZOMG! A new photo?

Yes!  It's a new photo!

Amanda and I took this photo together the weekend before last while we were at Starbucks on Sunday morning.  We woke up, and Amanda insisted that coffee was necessary.  I agreed, but then she stipulated that it had to be in the form of a pumpkin spice latte.

...I capitulated, and a few minutes later we were in Starbucks.  I sometimes think about Jake from a few years ago who would call me a pretentious jerk for going to Starbucks as often as I do now.

My response to that Jake?

"I have Starbucks and the woman of my dreams.  You have no Starbucks and no woman in your life.  I win."

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Five Weeks...

It's just over five weeks until Christmas, and things are going full steam.  We're already noticing much larger crowds in stores, and are starting to think about getting our Christmas playlists ready.  That means it's time to talk about Amanda and my favourite Christmas music.

Amanda is a huge fan of Run, Run Rudolph, while I have two favourites.

The Crash Test Dummies' rendition of The First Noel is my favourite religious Christmas song.  Brad Roberts does an amazing job singing it, and I always look forward to starting my Christmas season by listening to it.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is my favourite secular song.  Garth Brooks does a great rendition of it, as do many other people, and it sums up my feelings about the holidays succinctly.

I think we'll wait another week or so until *officially* kicking off the Christmas music season, but it may be time to add another song or two through the iTunes store.

Until next time,

Saturday, November 17, 2012


It doesn't take much to make me feel like I should be doing something artistic.  A visit to Michael's usually does the trick, and so does playing Minecraft for that matter.

The last few days though, seeing Amanda sketch and doodle with pens has made me feel the urge to do something artistic myself.  I pulled out my markers to do some doodling the other night.

Part of it though might be not getting to do my weekly whiteboard drawings anymore.  For over a year at the Tumbler Ridge Public Library I drew a sketch of what the library really needs on a weekly basis.  There were times when I felt like taking a week off due to lack of ideas, but I do kind of miss it.

Anyway, I think I'll finish this up and grab a sketchbook and either a pencil or some markers.  ...or maybe I'll get back to work on my current knitting project.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Life isn't a Movie

Amanda and I were talking about our wedding last night before bed, and we got onto talking about wedding cliches.

Pretty soon we were talking about wedding cliches in movies that we *wouldn't* re-create.

For instance, Amanda will not have a fight with her best friend who has a wedding on the same day as ours.  Nor will she be someone who is finally getting married after being a bridesmaid 27 times.

Neither of us will wake up next to someone we don't remember meeting but who we're now married to.

Amanda will not wear running shoes under her dress in case she needs to run away from the ceremony.  Neither of us will have a friend who hopes that the wedding will be cancelled so that we'll go through with an ancient promise to get married to another person by a certain age.

There will not be any 40 year old men crashing our wedding trying to pick up women.  The iPod "singing" at our wedding will not get married to the catering assistant.

Hugh Grant will not show up at our wedding mysteriously after attending four funerals.  Nobody will be dancing Bollywood style at the reception except for my brother if he's had wayyyyyyyyyy too much to drink.

Finally, I sincerely hope that Amanda's dad won't have a meltdown based on a different number in weiners in a package versus the number of buns packaged together.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Guest List

One of the things Amanda and I still have to figure out for our wedding is the guest list.  I think I've mostly finished up my list, but there are a lot of maybes to resolve.  We'll be inviting my immediate family and grandparents and a few of my friends to sit on the right side of the aisle.  Beyond that, it gets trickier.

I'm definitely inviting my good friend who had me as a groomsman for his wedding.  I won't be returning the favour though, as it looks like Amanda and I will just have one person stand up alongside each of us.

Do I want to invite even older friends who, though I haven't talked to on a regular basis in a while, would probably be very happy to be invited?

Do I invite the cousins who were never a large part of my life (nor vice-versa) but who I like?

Should I make an effort to reach out to someone who has sort of blipped into my life now and then but who I have an amazing amount of respect for?

These are the questions that require answers -- and that's just for the groom's side!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Proportions Blown out of Proportion?

(blog post updated a few hours later)
I've been reading a lot of the iPad Mini reviews since Apple's new tablet was announced a few weeks ago.  I understand reviewers comparing the iPad Mini to various 7" Android tablets like Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire HD.  I understand discussing the difference in app quality and availability, pixel density, and price.

What I don't understand is people complaining that the iPad Mini has a 4:3 screen ratio.  Nearly every review of the iPad Mini notes that not having a 16:9 display is an annoyance because widescreen movies will appear letterboxed.

I don't understand why this is such a big deal to some reviewers.  Yes, a 16:9 ratio screen will work better for watching movies.  If you're buying a tablet simply to watch movies on, you'd probably want a 16:9 tablet.

But if you're browsing the web with a 16:9 tablet, I assume you'd either have to scroll the page horizontally all the time (if holding the tablet vertically), or only see a small portion of the wepage at a time (if holding the table horizontally).

Typing would seem to be more awkward on a 16:9 tablet to me, too.  Either the keyboard would be very compressed in portrait orientation or the keyboard would cover so much of the screen that you couldn't see much of what you'd written in landscape mode.

It just seems to me like letterboxing widescreen movies is less of an inconvenience to me than dealing with an overly wide (or tall) screen for everything else.

(portion below added at 2:41am)

It occurred to me just before drifting off to sleep that I had made an error in the above post.  Many 7" Android tablets, including the Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD have a screen resolution of 1280x800, which is not quite a 16:9 display.  However, I believe most of the above points to still have some merit.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

We Have Lift-off!

It's official!  I received an e-mail today that *officially* confirmed our hall booking.  There's still lots to do, but the date has finally been set and confirmed.

In just 255 days, Amanda and I will be husband and wife.

I don't think I can type anything that would make me smile any more than I am right now.

I'm marrying Amanda!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cleaning and Laziness

Amanda and I had a lazy day today.  The shop she works at is closed today, and I took it off in lieu of Remembrance Day.

We blitzkrieged through nearly a season of Community while playing Minecraft (me) and Paper Mario:  Sticker Star Story (Amanda).  That said, we did do some cleaning.  My desk looks better than it has since I moved here.  We're caught up on our laundry, and Amanda cleaned up the living room.

So we're all set to start our short week tomorrow.  I'm hoping to spend the rest of the evening doing what I was doing earlier this morning -- putting some time into my current knitting efforts.  I just started my current project two or three days ago, and I'm already making good progress.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Reception Distinction

Earlier tonight, I was talking with Amanda's family about our wedding.  At one point, her dad asked "What do you need me to do?"

I said "Show up and don't get too drunk."

He said "Whoa whoa whoa, I was fine with the first part of that, but the second...?"

He was joking of course, but it sort of points to what a reception is.  For Amanda and me, it'll be our first evening together as a married couple in front of our friends and family.  For them though, it's a party to celebrate our marriage.  Because we're the ones getting married, of course we think that our perspective on the reception should be the important one.

That said, we're only two attendees, and everyone else will be taking time out of their lives to come.  One of the books we purchased about wedding planning specifically commented that your wedding guests *are* guests and should be treated as such.  So what does that mean?

Party on!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Remembrance Day

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day.

I don't know what Amanda and I will be doing most of the day, but I know that 11:00 am, we'll be observing two minutes of silence.

Two minutes, even from every Canadian every year isn't enough.  Not compared to the sacrifices so many have made.  My grandfather was one of them.  He, like so many others before and after, travelled far from his homeland and fought the good fight.  In his case, it was against Germany in World War II, and he helped fight against evil.

The evils my grandfather fought against have been remade again and again in different forms throughout human history:  racism and intolerance.  He was forced to battle these evils in the guise of human soldiers following orders.  He had to fight his battles with guns and ammunition, and he paid for it dearly the rest of his life.

A few years back (somewhere between five and twelve), my family met up with an extended family member who was passing through, and he told us a few stories about my grandfather.  In the early days after he returned from the war, his family would wake up in the middle of the night to find my grandfather patrolling the perimeter of their farm as he had done during the war.  He wasn't able to sleep peacefully anymore.

A while after that meeting, my mom was scrapbooking old photos of my grandfather as a soldier.  She captioned one of the pages as "Our Hero".  When we talked about it, I made a comment that I hoped he would be the last one in our family.

At the time I meant that I hoped there would never be another war where members of our family would have to fight.  I've reconsidered that comment.  Maybe we won't become heroes doing so, but we all need to take up the fight against the same evils my grandfather fought against.  To quote from In Flanders Fields, "to you, from failing hands we throw the torch."

The men and women whose service we'll remember tomorrow have thrown us the torch.  It's on us to carry it high.  We won't need guns and ammunition, but we will need the same perseverence and the same courage my grandfather and so many others showed in their battles.

So when you're observing Remembrance Day tomorrow, nomatter how you choose to do so, please take a minute beyond your moment of silence and consider how you can continue the fight against the racism and intolerance that still exists out there.  I truly believe it will help those fallen soldiers rest peacefully.

Thank you.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Things to be doing...

I need to be knitting.  I have a couple of projects I'd like to start, and one that I really should finish.  But instead I'm typing on Amanda's Macbook while she knits.

Have I ever mentioned that Amanda is awesome?

Yeah, maybe I will pick up my knitting needles and get to work.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Even More Wedding Songs (Part Six if you're counting)

Yup, it's time to discuss even more songs that will probably make the playlist at our reception!

Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen
  • Amanda and I both like this song more than we have any right to.  It's fun, catchy, and it's awesome that she's a Canadian.

Hey Jude - The Beatles
  • This song is incredibly fun to sing along to, particularly the last four minutes or so.  As an added bonus, everyone will remember all the words to the last half of the song nomatter how much they drink at the reception.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Lost Idea...

I had a brilliant idea for a blog post today while at work and neglected to write it down.  Now all of the ideas that Amanda is pitching to me, while good, don't seem quite right, at least not right now.

Maybe it'll come back to me, or perhaps one of Amanda's ideas will strike a chord tomorrow.

Until then!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Night

Amanda and I have been on the couch for a while tonight.  After we finished getting groceries, we came home and I turned on the election results while we were putting groceries away.  Neither of us is super-political, but it's always interesting to see what happens in federal elections, either Canadian or American.

So while we put away vegetables, fruit, and bread, we heard speculation about what would happen in Ohio.  Just before we finished up, the station we were watching projected President Obama as the election winner.

So, good job Mr. President, and please continue to work hard over the next four years.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Creative Process

I love Amanda for her patience.  The local Zellers, like so many others, is going out of business shortly.  For the past two months or so, the entire stock of the store has been marked down.

I saw an opportunity.  For years, I've loved Lego bricks.  I started playing with them when I was a little kid, continued making creations on and off through my teen years, and took my Lego bricks with me when I left Williams Lake.  Now and then I'd pick up a new set that intrigued me (such as a giant bulldozer), or I'd try making something that interested me (a replica of the Red Baron's triplane).

So when Zellers was going out of business, I seized the moment and dragged Amanda into their building toys aisle.  She stood there for nearly twenty minutes while I perused every Lego and Mega Bloks set, and eventually decided on a tub of basic Mega Bloks bricks.

While getting ready for the annual Community Connections event, I had acquainted myself with the Library's collection of Lego (and other brand) bricks, and found that Mega Bloks were actually pretty decent.  Prior to that time I had solely purchased Lego bricks -- no other brands.

Anyway, Amanda and I came home from our trip, and while she was reading or knitting, I busied myself opening each bag in the tub and letting the bricks clatter together.  To amuse myself and get her to look, I made I (heart) U out of bricks, and designed a small black car that I proclaimed was actually a picture-perfect model of her car.

If you've read through the archives of this blog, you've learned that I'm a fan of Minecraft.  I enjoy the creative process there so much because even in survival mode it's like having a bottomless box of Lego bricks.  But even with the crafting and zombies, there's something missing.

There's something special about the tactile response of Lego bricks.  It's simple to identify a brick just by touch, even without looking at it.  When two pieces are joined, they fit snugly together.  Finally, when pulling them apart, there's often a satisfying pop.

As I write this, I'm staring at a Mega Bloks tub near my iMac and thinking about my similar (but much more populated) Lego tub in the storage room.  It may be time to build something.  The only problem is that I'm not sure where I'd display it!

In spite of all our efforts, our apartment is still fairly crowded.  Amanda and I have decided that (especially since my condo in Tumbler Ridge still hasn't sold) it makes more sense for us to stay here until after our wedding next year before looking for a new place.  We could weed through our belongings somewhat, but it'd take something on the level of discarding couches, bookshelves, or my computer desk to free up an appreciable amount of room.

Or we can do what I'm doing right now -- think about how cozy our place is and how cute Amanda is.  Ahhhhhhh.  Satisfying.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Notes on Tweed


Tonight's topic is tweed.

The scarf I finally finished knitting was made with tweed yarn, alternating with straight white yarn, as were the three scarves I knitted for my grandparents.  I like how they turned out, and I think the different coloured specks add a lot of interest to the yarn above and beyond how the straight colour version would look.  I bought some more tweed yarn as part of a Knit Picks order, and I'm looking forward to using it.  The tweed bits are a little more subdued than in my scarf, but I still like the effect.

There are downsides to tweed though.  Amanda warned me about the dangers of velcro near yarn, and that danger seems to be exacerbated with tweed.  It's like the little bits of colour are made simply to be absorbed by the hook side of velcro.

My winter jacket, for instance, has velcro fasteners for the flap outside of the main zipper.  If I wear my jacket unzipped along with my scarf, it takes approximately 2.3 steps before my scarf is stuck to every patch of velcro.  I can pull the scarf away, but it leaves some coloured tweed bits behind.

It actually serves as an interesting metaphor for our lives.  Occasionally we'll have someone or something intersect with our lives for a time.  Even if we intentionally remove them/it for our lives, something usually remains.  Some of that person's colour, so to speak.

So the next time my scarf sticks to my jacket's velcro, I think I'll stop for a minute before I pull the scarf away from it, and think about the bits of colour people have added to my life.  My parents added all the shades of grey between the black and white I used to see.  Tyler added a patch of yellow with green stripes to make me smile.  Most importantly, Amanda added a large splash of the most beautiful shades of blue when I met her last year.  More recently, that swatch has been banded with a ring of gold.

The colour scheme of my existence couldn't possibly make me happier.  I love the my base shades and especially the bits of colour that everyone adds to my life.  In short, I won't be re-painting anytime soon.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Kissing Couple Movie Review: Wreck-It Ralph

As promised, Amanda and I went to see Wreck-It Ralph tonight.  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and it'll be an instant buy for me when it hits blu-ray and DVD sometime next year.

The Good:
  • Overall story was fun
  • Video game cameos were awesome
  • The Konami Code
  • Plot points that were reminiscent of Reboot and .Hack
  • Good animation
  • Paperman (the short shown before Wreck-It Ralph) was incredible
  • Jane Lynch voicing the female space marine
The Bad:
  • Bowser didn't have enough screen time
  • Amanda wants to play Sugar Rush, and I'm not sure any video game adaptation of it will match up to the movie
Best Moments:
  • The explanation of "Going Turbo"
  • The method of escape from the quicksand
It felt like a crazy mix of a Pixar movie with .Hack, Reboot, Speed Racer, the podrace from Star Wars Episode I (for a few short minutes) and a ton of video game references thrown in.

*Highly* recommended!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Movies in our Near Future

Date for tomorrow:  the movies.  Amanda and I have been excited for Wreck-It Ralph ever since we saw the first trailer.  So we're hoping to go see it tomorrow.  Then we'll be following it up in a week or so with Skyfall, the new James Bond movie.

So I predict movie awesomeness in our future!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dates not Available

Amanda and I may have set our wedding date tonight through the process of elimination.  The halls we were looking into were both booked on our first choice week, but the weeks immediately beforehand were not booked for one of them.

Amanda was at the hall a few years ago, and we're hoping to take a look at it in person soon.  After we've got the hall, we'll book the person to marry us, and our wedding date will be official.

It's not official yet, but it's exciting to have a specific date to think about!