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


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.


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.