Friday, May 31, 2013

Unknown Photo Locale?

I don't remember where Amanda and I were when we took this, but I really like how the photo turned out!  Oh, wait.  Yes.  I do remember!  We took this photo together in Whitecourt just before having lunch at McDonalds on our drive home from Edmonton. Amanda and I drove around Whitecourt looking for a non-chain place to try, but many were closed on Victoria Day, so we gave up and went to McDonalds instead.

Anyway, I like the photo -- Amanda looks really cute and the colours are great. With the exception of the black pickup truck poking into the photo between us, it feels like a very balanced photo to me. ...It'd be nice if more of my photos turned out this way.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Even more Edmonton.

Amanda and I took this photo next to the ice rink in the West Edmonton Mall. I still think it would be incredibly cool to go skating there one day. Perhaps we'll take a trip to Edmonton at some point where we don't need to cram the entire mall into a single day, and can actually take a more leisurely approach to the mall and Edmonton as a whole. I mean, our trip basically involved Olive Garden, Ikea, Toys R Us, a small portion of Whyte Avenue, a branch of the EPL, and the mall. It was a lot of fun -- we just didn't see much in the grande scheme of things!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Circle of Cuteness

I took this photo of Amanda at Bed Bath and Beyond in the West Edmonton Mall.  You may notice that me taking pictures of Amanda/Amanda and me in mirrors is kind of a trend.  I thought Amanda looked really cute, and I thought the mirror framed her face nicely.  So I asked her to freeze where she was while I got in position to take the photo.

We spent a fair bit of time looking around while in Bed Bath and Beyond, and I joked about all the stuff I wanted to add to our wedding registry -- the most expensive towels in the store and other ridiculous stuff as well.

At any rate, we got a great photo together and purchased a bunch of Amanda's favourite candle-branded scent stuff for her car.  Win-win!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Random Mall Kissing

I have no idea what area it was, but Amanda and I took this photo together in the West Edmonton Mall last Sunday. We took in the entire mall, and stayed for supper and to watch Star Trek: Into Darkness in the IMAX theatre.

We visited the Prairie Mall yesterday to pick up a chain Amanda had repaired, and the contrast was amazing. I commented that the Prairie Mall would comfortably fit in one floor of one phase of the West Edmonton Mall. The really interesting thing is that our local mall seemed reasonably large to me during my years of living in Tumbler Ridge.

So I guess what I'm saying is that Einstein's theory of relativity applies to malls, too!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Art and Feeling Artistic

While we were at the West Edmonton Mall, Amanda and I stopped in at DeSerres. I love shopping at art stores like this. For the few minutes I'm in the store, I feel incredibly artistic and motivated to draw, sketch, paint, knit, and sculpt. It's an amazing feeling that far too often only lasts until I reach the outside of the store after paying for my new art supplies.

But the intent is always there. I'd love to draw and sketch on a regular basis, and even write my own webcomic someday. I really enjoy painting and I spend far too much time considering the oil paints available and what I'd use them for. On this trip, I ended up with a few new tubes of paint (sadly, one that duplicated a colour I already had in that particular brand), and some sketching pens in various colours. On the way home I used them to sketch the scene I saw while Amanda was driving. It turned out fairly okay, but I really haven't done much with the pens since.

The paints, unfortunately, have just been put with my other painting supplies until the day Amanda and I have a place where I have room to paint. It's okay though -- I'm enjoying my daydreams about the landscape I could paint with the new colours I picked up.

Oh yeah. Amanda and I took a photo of us kissing outside of DeSerres. I think it turned out pretty good, especially since I managed to get the logo in frame as well to show exactly where we took this photo.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Waiting in Aisle A, next to row B

Amanda and I also visited Ikea while we were in Edmonton. We took this photo together while waiting to pay for a lamp, small vases for centrepieces at our reception, and the tray to a baby high chair called antilope because Amanda's brother-in-law asked us to pick one up.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Glorious Moment

So... While Amanda and I were in Edmonton, there was an amazing moment. We went to Southgate Centre and looked around for a place to park. We drove by the Foci parking (two Ford Focuses next to one another) and by some other vehicles until we found it: the Yari parking area.

There were two Yarises parked there already: a blue one, and a clone of my car. So I demanded that we park behind the clone car. Amanda was driving, as she did for much of the in-Edmonton driving, and she agreed to park where I asked.

Why was I so insistent?

So I could then ask her to take this photo. My Yaris is the one on the right.

Well played Edmonton, well played.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Amanda and I took this photo together on our first stop on the way to Edmonton. Our trip, while good, was marked by waiting for tables at restaurants. Amanda joked that she'd have to post about my attitude in IHOP, and I'm kind of happy to see that she didn't.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Off to Edmonton

Amanda and I are off to Edmonton tomorrow, so this blog may go unupdated until Monday. Bt hopefully we'll take some great pictures together while we're there!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Small Piece of Happiness

The ball winder I bought as part of Amanda's birthday gift finally arrived today. So as I type this, she is happily winding away as I sit on the kitchen floor watching with a smile on my face.

There are small moments of happiness and contentment that appear out of nowhere. The trick is to recognize and enjoy them.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Amanda and I are getting ready for our trip to Edmonton this weekend.  We've been talking about our road trip playlist, and it's going to include songs such as:

Shot Through the Heart - Bon Jovi
If Looks Could Kill - Heart
Danger Zone - Kenny Loggins
Life is a Highway - Tom Cochrane

and other songs, too.

We're planning to do some shopping at West Edmonton Mall, visit the Strathcona Country Library, and spend a few hours wandering around Ikea.  Oh, and we're hoping to go see Star Trek: Into Darkness at the IMAX theatre in the mall.  It should be a full weekend!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Just in Time...

So, Amanda and I managed a just-in-time moment yesterday. Because we were going to the mall anyway (so I could see what Target is like -- it basically feels like Zellers Plus to me, which is just fine), I suggested that we stop by the jewelry store so I could order the jacket for her engagement ring. When I told the clerk our wedding date, she seemed to freak out a little bit.

That store is closing up for a little bit in July for some renovations. She did the math and figured that there are only eight weeks or so until it closes and was worried the jacket might not arrive in time if anything goes wrong. But by the end of things, she seemed much more confident about it. (I think our positive attitudes rubbed off on her).

So we should have the jacket for Amanda's engagement ring in time for our wedding. But boy, it's a good thing we ordered it yesterday.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

Here's my toast to all the mothers out there:

Here's to all the women who teach, support, and sacrifice. To those who bring life into the world, and nurture and love their children.

To the wonderful moms of the world, thank you. Thank you for everything.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Amanda and I just finished washing off the stink from the campfire we were sitting beside this afternoon and evening. For the record, it was in a proper fire pit surrounded by a sand border that extended out about four to five feet from the pit and was watched by at least two people at all times. In other words, the odds of it starting a forest fire were pretty small.

Anyway, it was great. We visited with our friends, cooked hot dogs and kebobs, and generally enjoyed the warm weather. We were the first to leave at 10:15 and it was still light out.

Summer is awesome!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Penny Arcade Kickstarter

As some of you may have read, the folks at Penny Arcade are running another kickstarter campaign. This one, with a goal of $10.00, is to bring back Downloadable Content, their podcast series.

I've seen some of the ranting on Twitter about how they've co-opted the system and done all sorts of horrible things through this act, and thought I'd put my two cents in:

So what?

Many people do not use Kickstarter for its intended purpose. Fangamer, for instance, used their Kickstarter to fund the reproduction of shirts that had already been produced and sold profitably. Where was the outcry in that case?

Anamanaguchi, whose music I really enjoy, is running a Kickstarter so they can release their next album the way they want. The album is done. There's no reason they couldn't have it on iTunes where people like me could slap down a iTunes gift card and say "Take my money!" Instead, in a very real sense, they are holding their album hostage. None of their fans (who would be very happy to pay for more of their music) will get to hear the album unless together they can raise enough money to meet the stated goal. There's a word for that: ransom. Why aren't there storms of outraged people filling Twitter with complaints?

Richard Garriott had a Kickstarter campaign for a game based loosely on his classic Ultima series. Richard Garriott is also the man who reportedly paid $30 million dollars to fly as a space tourist. Why wasn't he vilified for his Kickstarter campaign?

Here's the thing. I like all three of the people/groups I listed as examples. I supported the Fangamer Kickstarter, missed Richard Garriot's while it was running, and I plan to support Anamanaguchi's.

My point is that people use Kickstarter for a variety of reasons. They use it as a storefront to sell pre-orders for a product, use it for publicity, and use it to mitigate risk so that if a product is a commercial failure, the creator is not on the hook for the expense of production. Very few of these people are receiving any scorn for their use of Kickstarter.

So why not extend that same courtesy to the Penny Arcade guys?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Sidewalk Not Taken

It's been a while since I posted one of these photos!

Amanda and I went for a long walk last night.  It started as a simple loop around the park, but then we extended it to walk by a house Amanda thinks is really neat.  We continued on, and ended up walking down a bunch of small streets that neither Amanda nor me have ever walked down.  Amanda's lived here most of her life, and I've been coming to Grande Prairie on a regular basis for nearly two years, but somehow we've always missed these particular streets.

At any rate, we took this photo in the course of our long wander together.  The wind was whipping Amanda's hair around a little, and it made for a great photo!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Raptors are Coming

Amanda took me out tonight to see the re-release of Jurassic Park in 3D. We've been talking about going to see it for a few weeks, and tonight we finally managed to do it. It was great. I've seen the movie many times, but it was always on a VHS tape, and I hadn't watched it in years. I laughed, flinched, and held Amanda's hand tighter at all the right moments, and I was surprised at the effect the movie had on me.

Now, for any re-release like this, there's always the question of how well the movie has held up. In this case, Jurassic Park held up admirably. There were a few moments that dated the movie ("it's an interactive CD-ROM!"), and a few pieces of dialogue that were firmly rooted in the early 1990s. It wasn't so much the specific words or slang that was used -- just the general tone of a few conversations.

At any rate, the 3D conversion was done well, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Weekends out of Sync

So, Amanda and my weekends are out of sync right now. Two weekends ago, I had to work Sunday afternoon for a few hours while she was off. Last weekend, I worked all weekend while she was off. This weekend, she'll be doing inventory at her job while I will be off. Then the following weekend, I have to head in for a few hours on Saturday while she's off.

So to the people who schedule things, and the powers that be, I'd just like to ask a single question:


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered

The wedding invitations are in the mail, and a huge weight is off our shoulders.  Now we've got a place and time to get married, someone to marry us, someone to take photos, someone to cater everything, and shortly, some people to come as guests!

What would we do without the guests?  Without them, it would just be Amanda and me getting married.  We really wouldn't need the hall or caterer -- just the two of us the the woman marrying us.

On the other hand, it'd be very clinical.  It wouldn't be a celebration.  How much of a celebration could it be without us getting to watch our friends get a little rowdy over the course of the evening?  Not much of one.

We're in the home stretch.  There's less than three months until the big day, and only a few things left to figure out.  Wedding in T-Minus 8 days, and counting.