Sunday, March 31, 2013

The dream Home of 2013

Amanda and I checked out the Dream Home today. It was much more to my liking than last year's offering. For one thing, the builders actually showed some restraint in the placement of TVs for the most part.

Mosquito-screened section of the back deck -- it would be awesome for everything from breakfast to evening knitting.
The master bedroom -- lots of room, awesome shower, separate closets for each of us (or separate closets for Amanda's clothes and her yarn ;-) )
The kitchen island -- tons of room to cook, lots of natural light.
The three TVs behind the wet bar downstairs -- I could pretend I was hosting Sportsdesk!
Though Amanda and I don't drink much, the wine cellar was neat, too.

Incredibly high cupboards -- both Amanda and I are reasonably tall, but even I would need a multi-step stepstool to reach the high cupboards.
One of the bathtubs had its hardware installed at the wrong end -- getting into the tub involves an awkward step brushing up against the toilet.
The pantry design was lousy -- vertical separators between shelf sections should not have overlapping fronts that boxes will get caught on, and nobody I know would use the soup can dispenser that looks like it belongs in a grocery store.

Why is there a putting green inside the house?
Why do some of the tubs have glass walls that only cover 2/3 of the tub side?
Why are the microwave and oven door so close to the floor?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Registry

Amanda and I spent some time tonight adding stuff to a wedding registry.  We've got most of the household stuff we need, and even two copies of much of it.  Nevertheless, we managed to find a few things to add to the registry.

I think Amanda and I are doing a good job together on the list -- we both restrain each other's more interesting impulses.  For instance, she suggested that we did not really need 1000 threadcount sheets.  I, in turn, would suggest that we do not need a Keurig coffee machine to sit next to the Tassimo machine we got for Christmas.

It's been fun so far, but I really wish Future Shop offered wedding registries.  We'd be able to add hundreds of items in a wide range of prices from $5 DVDs to the dishwasher Amanda would really like us to get.

Anyway, we'll carry on.

Friday, March 29, 2013


Our plans for last night (continuing to watch Game of Thrones and writing a blog post) were waylaid. I had just settled onto the couch when someone banged on our door. It was a maintenance man from the company who owns our apartment building. The person living below us had discovered a leak in their ceiling. So the maintenance guy came up here to find out what caused the leak.

To make a long story short, he cut a hole in the wall of our storage room, discovered a pinprick hole in a copper pipe leaking water, and came back with the stuff to patch it until they could come in and repair it properly (hopefully on Monday). By the time he left for the final time though, it was time for bed.

I'm grateful that we were both here and still awake though. It made things much easier for everyone.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Busy Day

Both Amanda and I had today off so we could go talk to our florist about wedding flowers and make it to other appointments, and the day was very busy.

Amanda left for her appointment, came back, and then it was time for me to leave for mine. Then we met up for lunch and the florist appointment before splitting up again -- Amanda going to another appointment and me going for a walk before meeting up again to go look at printers. We had supper and just a little bit of quiet time before going to the library so I could give my talk on my trip to Japan in 2007.

My talk went well, and we just arrived home a few minutes ago. Now we're continuing working our way through the first season of Game of Thrones. It's been a very good day, but it's definitely been a busy one!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Diving, Fingers First

I'm getting the urge to dig through my yarn stash tonight. The only knitting I'm doing lately is a half hour on Amanda's scarf during my lunch break every day, and I'm getting the urge to work on something else as well. I could re-start the socks Amanda helped me to start months ago, or I could play with the cotton yarn I have and start knitting dishcloths out of it.

...Or I could just paw through it, allowing each ball and skein to slip through my fingers, and hold each one out for Amanda to admire as well. I could weigh the potential of each kind of yarn and re-consider the projects I'd considered for them in the first place.

So here I go! It's time to dive into my yarn stash!

Monday, March 25, 2013

End of the Long Stretch

I'm finally off for a few days. I know 8 1/2 days in a row isn't much compared to some people, but it felt like a lot to me. So I'll be puttering around home and tending to a few appointments before returning to work for just one day before the long weekend. Yay!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What's in a Name?

Amanda and I Skyped with my mom tonight and we spent some time discussing the names of our future children. One name that we discussed for a while was Mac.

I like it. I've never known a Mac, the name is short, and there aren't many possibilities for misspellings. The few characters I've read about (or played in video games) have been decent guys for the most part. Finally, the word play with the name would be incredible!

Our son would be named Mac Fehr (pronounced "fair"). Because of my small percentage of Scottish ancestry he could even be known as MacFehr! Furthermore, even better stuff would happen if he became a father someday. As Amanda noted, if he had a male child, the child would be a MacFehrson! :-D

I also noted one other thing about a future son of ours. If he had children at some point, he would become a Mac Daddy.

Thank you, I'll be here all week.

But seriously -- Mac is an awesome name. We'll have to consider it if we have a son in the future.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Amanda and I went to a Japanese restaurant for supper tonight. We ordered the weirdest thing on the appetizer menu -- spicy mini tako. They were tiny red octopi in a not-so-spicy sauce with sesame seeds. It was very weird to eat a tiny octopus in a single mouthful, and they were all really rubbery, but it was fun to try them anyway.

After supper I took this photo of Amanda and me in the last few minutes before the sun set. I'm really happy with the result!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Better Late Than Never

I'm late to the Game of Thrones, but thanks to my brother, I'm finally getting a chance to see what the fuss is about. So far I'm enjoying it, though Amanda and I are only halfway through the first episode. I'm hoping to watch more of this weekend around work. It's my weekend for supervision at the library, so I'll be there all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon. But after that, I'll only be working two days next week. Wheeee!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Birthday Photo

Amanda and I took this photo together on my birthday just before having supper. No, we didn't eat at the liquor store behind us in the photo. Amanda took me to Boston Pizza, where I had my usual order, and it was incredibly delicious.

Oh, and Amanda was really cute that night, too.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Lorne Elliott

Amanda and I went to see Lorne Elliott's live show tonight, and it was amazing. My parents (particularly my dad) got me onto Lorne's stuff around the time they went to see him live a half-dozen years back, and I still laugh at some of his older songs like "The New National Anthem" and "We're Gonna Get Granny Plastered".

So when Amanda and I were at the live theatre a few weekends ago, I happened to see the ad for Lorne's then-upcoming show and got excited. I convinced Amanda to accompany me (aided by the hilarity of the above songs), and bought the tickets during my lunch break two weeks ago.

The show started at 7:30, ended at 10:00, and the wasn't a single bit of bad material the whole evening. Lorne even managed a joke about all the guitar tuning he had to perform mid-set. So to Lorne, thanks for the amazing show in Grande Prairie, and come back soon!

To everyone else, nyahhhhhhhhhh! I got to see Lorne Elliott live tonight and you didn't! :-P

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Yesterday's Birthday

My birthday yesterday was great! I got to have two birthday cakes at work because a co-worker shares my birthday, had a long chat on Skype with my brother, a brief phone call with my parents, and Amanda took me out to supper!

Thanks everyone, for making my birthday so great. Next year, same time, okay?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Yearly Tradition

I don't have any major traditions for St. Patrick's Day. I didn't drink until 30, and still drink in extreme moderation even now. Furthermore, with my birthday the next day, it would be kind of weird to have a party on St. Patrick's Day and then expect one the next day, too.

But this afternoon, Amanda reminded me of a tradition: shamrock shakes. We stopped for them after getting groceries, and they were full of pepperminty deliciousness.

In other news, I got to open the birthday gifts from my parents early while we were Skyping earlier tonight. One gift, to me and Amanda, was a haikube set. It's a set of dozens of dice with words on five faces of each die. You roll the dice onto the floor, read the haiku theme on one of the special red dice, and then write a haiku with the other word dice to make a haiku with that theme. It's really cool, and and because Amanda and I like haikus so much, you may get to read some of the ones we come up with!

Now, tomorrow is my birthday, and the last two years were two of the best in my entire life. Here's hoping the next year is just as good!

Countdown to wedding: 131 days

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The End of an Audio Era

Amanda and I went to a local music store that was holding a closing out sale this afternoon. When we walked through the shelves and flipped through clearance CDs, it felt like the end of an era. Actually, Amanda and I witnessed another recently -- the end of the video store as anything more than a niche market when Blockbuster and the other video rental chains went bankrupt in the last few years, but it wasn't quite the same.

In the case of the video stores, I was largely sheltered from their decline and collapse. I lived in Tumbler Ridge where the video store was still a major part of the community, and our Internet access was far too slow for streaming and downloading services (Netflix, iTunes video rentals, etc.), to ever make much headway.

The decline of the music store, however, has occurred right in front of my eyes. Stores like CD Plus have disappeared, and the HMVs of the world have a small aisle of CDs forgotten amidst the DVDs and licensed merchandise. It was kind of sad to be in that closing store today realizing that I was seeing something disappear that was a part of my life but will not be a part of my children's...

At the same time though, it was very clear to me while browsing the store why music stores are disappearing -- and it has nothing to do with piracy. First, most of the CDs started at over $20. When most albums on iTunes cost between $10-14, it's hard to justify paying the extra cost of the same music. Second, there was no way to sample the music. I saw a few CDs that looked interesting, but without knowing the songs or having a way to hear them first, I wasn't willing to take a chance. iTunes lets me sample snippets of songs, and not be stuck buying an entire album because I like one song.

Third, actually going to the store was inconvenient. Amanda and I had to drive out on snowy streets and risk getting stuck in the parking lot to see what was on the store shelves (which would've been a hit-or-miss proposition even if the store wasn't going out of business). My other option lets me sit on the couch, browse an amazing collection of music for sale on my iPad, where albums don't go out of stock, and purchase the music right there. Done.

So to summarize, it's sad to see an entire field of business fade from the landscape, but at the same time, it was very clear why it has happened. I feel bad for the store owners because they really haven't done anything wrong. It's just that their competition has found a way to surpass them on many different fronts...

Friday, March 15, 2013

Split up Weekend

Soooooooo... Amanda works tomorrow morning and I work Sunday afternoon. It'd be nice if our weekend schedules coincided...

I don't know what she has planned for her alone time, but I've got big plans involving podcasts and Sim City 2000 and Minecraft and watching How I Met Your Mother on Netflix!

...or I might try to get laundry done while doing my taxes.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Changing Perceptions

It's funny how perceptions have changed over time. Back in the day, quality seemed to be the most important benchmark. As a society, we emphasized sturdiness and good construction. Over time though, our desire for quality was replaced with a longing for value.

Some people don't understand the real difference between the two attributes. Value is a measure of the quality *for the price*. I once had someone go on and on about how good something she bought at Fields was. The item she bought was fine, but it was nothing special. For the price she paid, it was great. Compared to a similar item I bought elsewhere though, it was mediocre at best.

So we became a society largely concern with value. But this, too, was replaced with something else: cheapness -- an obsession with price disguised as value. All of the major fast food restaurants have value menus, where products are designed to meet a specific low price point. It's not that they're bad products. It's not that they don't have value. But when their existence as products, particularly as part of a wider range of products, is solely defined as price, the term value should no longer apply.

So, to sum up:

Quality - the measure of a product's sturdiness and suitability to its tasks
Value - quality per unit of price
Cheap - items that are sold for the lower end of the price range for their kind of product

So, what does this have to do with Amanda, me,or our lives? Nothing. But I felt like writing about it!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cloudy Suburbia

Amanda and I took this photo together the other day. We were hoping for nice weather so we could go for a wander, but the weather conspired against us. Nevertheless we took the first photo of us together that we've taken in quite some time. Did everyone miss seeing them?

I did!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The City of Emeralds

Amanda took me to the movies tonight. We went to see Oz the Great and Powerful, and it was really good! The story was good and went by really quickly. I checked my watch at one point because I was curious how much of the movie was left. I thought we'd been watching for 30-45 minutes. I was wrong -- we were at the 90 minute mark.

The 3D effects were great, the characters were all really well done, and Amanda loved the Back to the Future reference. My only real complaint is that one or two scenes of the movie felt like Star Wars Episode III had been re-skinned with Wizard of Oz characters instead of Jedi or Sith. Those parts were still awesome, but it was clear the director was a fan of the Yoda-Palpatine battle.

Anyway, we both enjoyed it, and now it's time for bed. Good night, good readers.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Building Metropolises

I've fallen back into the SimCity groove again. No, I haven't been playing the new SimCity -- I'd like to try it but the Mac version isn't out yet, I'm not sure if my iMac can run it, and more than anything, I'm not impressed with EA's DRM.

At any rate, I heard about's joke that they were selling SimCity 2000 for $5.99 and that it could be played right away. I took them up on their offer, and have been having a blast playing it again. I never played much of SimCity 2000 after junior high school, and it was neat to go back to it!

So my city is still working its way toward 100,000 people and I'm having a blast building my new subdivision south of the river. I call it Fehrville south. It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Artistic Trap

Amanda and I went to Michael's today. Every time we go in there, I feel incredibly artistic and want nothing more than to come home and draw, paint, knit, or fold various origami creations. I swear they pump some kind of art-motivating gas in the air.

I escaped without buying anything, but when I got home my artistic motivation was waylaid by the desire for supper and to play Monopoly with Amanda on our iPads. We finished our game from last night and were soundly beaten by the computer players, and in a rematch, I achieved our revenge with a brilliant victory. In fact, it may have even been my artistry of the deal at work. Who knows -- maybe Michael's did influence me this evening after all!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

At the Thee-a-tah

Amanda and I went to the Grande Prairie Live Theatre tonight. The show was really good, though the first half hour was a little slow. The show was very British, which makes sense because it was set in London, but the style of humour was also from that area of the world. Lots of madcap hijinks, and a few very good performances by the actors.

While there, we saw something that got me really excited. Lorne Elliott will be performing at the theatre in a week and a half! For anyone who doesn't know, Lorne is a Canadian musician/comedian who sings the funniest song about Canada ever written. It includes a line that states "If you're Canadian, you're from... Canadia." Anyway, Amanda and I will be trying to get tickets for his show. It should be great!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Just about....

I was off at 2 today because I worked some extra hours the last two days, so I walked through Muskoseepi Park to Save On to pick up a few things for supper (at Amanda's request, barbecued hamburgers and corn on the cob). It was incredibly nice, and I'd really like to do some wandering and photo taking with Amanda this weekend except for one thing: the paths were still pretty icy.

But this is okay. It's *spring* and all the paths and sidewalks will be clear dry for our walking pleasure soon enough. :-)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Lazy Deliciousness

I was lazy tonight. I didn't have any good ideas for supper, so I waited for Amanda to get home. She saw I hadn't started anything and asked me if I wanted to go out for supper. I told her that wasn't the plan, but that I didn't have any ideas for supper beyond nachos. She looked at me, I saw the love in her eyes, and she said "Um, that sounds really good to me."

So I made nachos, full of cheesy, chippy, salsa-y deliciousness.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


They say not to cry over spilt milk. Amanda and I follow that saying for the most part, though our will to do so has been tested over the past two evenings. Last night I was having a snack with a glass of milk before bed when Amanda came over. She kissed me, and I reached over to close my book so I could give her kiss the full attention it deserved. I realized my mistake when I heard the crash. I knocked my full glass of milk over onto the table, shattering the glass. I swore, Amanda said something to effect of "Oh, honey..." and we spent a half hour cleaning everything up.

Usually after breaking something made of glass, I think that I'll have quite a while before it happens again -- since I left home for university, I think I've averaged less than one broken thing made of glass per year.

But then tonight it happened again. Amanda had a bottle of nail polish slip from her hand and hit the edge of the candy dish sitting on the ottoman. A chunk of glass *flew* across the room and cracked against the baseboard heater. So we spent nearly a half hour again cleaning up, and vacuuming the floor between where the candy dish was, and where the chunk of glass flew to.

So the moral of the story is that this weekend, we're switching to plastic! ;-)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

On Lack of Options

Amanda and I did our monthly large grocery trip tonight. It's 15% off Tuesday, so after some brief post-work running around, we headed right over to the grocery store. But we ran into some disappointment tonight. First off, we couldn't find any cinnamon-flavoured toothpaste. There are 700 varieties of mint (including smooth mint, refreshing mint, and extreme powermint), but we could not find any cinnamon. So we struck out on toothpaste and resolved to go elsewhere.

Next we visited the deodorant aisle. My brand, which I've been using since my previous favourite brand was discontinued three or four years ago was on clearance. Apparently Irish Spring antiperspirant, whose scent Amanda has come to associate with me, is either being discontinued or at the very least, not being carried by that grocery store anymore. It's really disappointing! They have a distinct product that isn't associated with ridiculous ads (Axe or Tag), or the Old Spice Guy (who Amanda and I both love, but whose deodorant I don't feel compelled to try), and I will really miss it. On the plus side, I was able to buy five of them at an extremely low price, so it'll be a while before I have to explore something new.

Finally, I like a particular brand of dental floss. It's called Ultra Floss, and I think it lives up to its name. It too, was not available.

At any rate, Amanda and I were able to do most of our shopping. It's just disappointing that the few things we're particular about are getting harder to find.

Monday, March 4, 2013


Amanda failed me yesterday. I asked her to help me resist temptation while we were driving around supper time. She asked me what temptation I was trying to resist. I said "the Canadian Brewhouse." She said "Um, that actually sounds really good."

So we had supper at the Canadian Brewhouse and it was really disappointing. The other times we've been there, the food was just fine. It's not the main draw of the place, as the beer menus, dozens of TVs, and extremely short skirts on the waitresses will prove, but normally the food is pretty decent.

That wasn't the case last night. Amanda's yam fries were barely lukewarm when they showed up, and when she mentioned it to our waitress, Amanda just received a shrug in reply. Her East Coast donair was filled with the same over-shredded meat found in my beef dip, and while they were both edible, were not fantastic. The worst part? Even though we stuck with non-alcoholic drinks, our supper ended up costing as much as it would for us to have eaten at Mr. Mike's, even with Amanda having an appletini and the two of us sharing a dessert.

So next time we'll just go to Mr. Mike's instead!

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Amanda and I just spent an hour and a half looking through the photos from my 2007 trip to Japan. It was a lot of fun looking through them again, but Amanda asked too many questions I couldn't answer! More than once I had to say "I don't know -- I was just happy to be in Japan and wandering around. I have no idea what that shrine/temple/store is."

Anyway, it's good practice because I'll be reprising my talk about my trip in a few weeks at the library. The presentation is called Strolling in Shinjuku: Adventures in Japan. Hopefully people will enjoy the talk.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


As I write this, I'm looking at our bikes and hoping that the snow on the trails around Muskoseepi Park will finish melting so Amanda and I can take advantage of any nice weather to go for a ride. It's been years since I rode a bike even on a semi-regular basis, and it'll be great to start riding again. That said, I don't think I'll impress people with my riding -- I'll leave it to my dad and his new bike-mounted camera to impress people!

Friday, March 1, 2013

On Birthdays

So I'm coming up on my thirty-second birthday. In some ways it's even crazier than hitting thirty was. At least for that one, I was still in my twenties while I was waiting for my age to roll over to the next digit. There are days I walk around, especially in the library, and have a hard time thinking about other people seeing me as in my thirties. It's a weird thought.

To all the kids around there, I'm an adult who knows everything. To my co-workers, I'm just one of the other people working there. So why do I still feel like a kid around them sometimes? This too, is weird.