Sunday, August 13, 2017


I just went to look at a website I regularly visit, and got a bit of a surprise.  It was a Sears Canada ad, advertising shopping for the upcoming school year. As is the case with its American counterpart Sears Canada is in major trouble, suffering from changes in the Canadian consumer market.  In June it was announced that 59 stores would close after the company was granted protection from its creditors.  This included 4 stores in Saskatchewan, although this didn't include the store in Saskatoon's Midtown Plaza.  So of course they`re really hoping that you`ll shop at the stores that are left.  But it seems their online advertising efforts hadn`t been reaching me until now.

The Midtown Plaza store is a large 2 storey outlet, so losing it would be a big hit for Midtown Plaza.  It`s hard to think of something that might replace it, as potential tenants who`d want a space that size have tended to build in Saskatoon`s `big box` areas.  So Sears Canada isn`t the only company hoping you`ll visit, it`s all the companies that have Sears as a tenant as well.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, August 11, 2017.

A bit of price relief to report this week.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 95.4 cents a litre at most locations.  I wouldn't expect it to go down much further however.  90 cents seems to be the low barrier at the moment.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Even More Paper.

Last month I mentioned receiving a paper Canadian ten dollar bill.  To my pleased surprise I received yet another one this morning.  I wonder if someone had a bunch of them they'd kept in a drawer or something, and are now spending them in Saskatoon.  So if you're in Saskatoon you might want to keep your eyes open for them.  I've already spent this one, and I hope like the one I had last month it continues in circulation for a long time to come.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Today's Cassette, August 7, 2017.

This morning I found another box of cassettes that had been misplaced.  So out came the player and the self titled album by Max Q.  The band was a collaboration between eclectic Australian musician Ollie Olsen and Michael Hutchence of INXS.  Max Q was released in 1989 and was the band's sole release.  It's out of print, which surprises me a bit given Hutchence's fame.  And some of the lyrics from the song "Ghost of the Year" are disturbing in retrospect:

I'm counting on you
To count the fingers on my hands
That's the amount of time I've got.

Hutchence died in 1997, his death ruled a suicide.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, August 4, 2017.

If you've been following gas price changes of late this week's change will be no surprise.  Gas in Saskatoon has jumped to 98.9 cents a litre at most locations.  It would be nice if it would stabilise for a while, but that seems unlikely at this point.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

I Hope You Stayed.

If you were at Rogers Centre this afternoon I hope you didn't leave the Blue Jays game early.  Seeing Steve Pearce hit his second walk off grand slam in 4 games on TV was amazing.  I'm sure it was even more amazing to see it in person.  I suspect that no one will be throwing anything hittable to Pearce if the bases are loaded for a good while to come.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, July 28, 2017.

What has gone up, has come down.  Gas in Saskatoon has dropped to 92.9 cents a litre at most locations.  But don't be surprised if it goes up again next week.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

More Paper.

Back in October of 2016 I received a 5 dollar paper bill as part of my change.  I speculated at the time I might not see another paper Canadian bill again.  I was wrong, as I received a paper ten dollar bill in change today.  Somehow it's managed to stay in circulation years after it was decided to pull all Canadian paper currency.  Presumably it simply hasn't ended up in a bank in a long time, as banks will send old bills like this back to the Bank of Canada for destruction.  I know I won't be putting it in a bank, but instead will spend it to help it continue its journey.

Gas In Saskatoon, July 21, 2017.

Yet another week where we saw a small decline followed by a big jump.  Gas in Saskatoon dropped at the beginning of the week to 90.4 cents a litre, only to jump to 97.9 cents a litre Thursday.  I'd love to see the justification for such price jumps, but I doubt I'd be pleased at what I read.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Goodbye, Commander.

Veteran actor Martin Landau has died at 89.  If things had worked out a bit differently Landau might be known as a cartoonist instead of an actor.  He was still a teen when the New York Daily News hired him as a cartoonist, but five years later he decided to quit to pursue acting.  A student of Lee Strasberg, Landau's big break came when Alfred Hitchcock saw him in a play, and cast him as the villainous Leonard in North by Northwest, leading to a nearly 60 year career.

My first real exposure to Landau was as Commander John Koenig in Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's Space: 1999, where he starred opposite his then wife Barbara Bain.  In memoriam here's the Space: 1999 episode "The Black Sun," one of Landau's favourites.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Gas In Saskatoo, July 14, 2017.

Last week's big price jump has almost reversed itself.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 91.9 cents a litre at most locations.  But I'll be entirely unsurprised if it goes up next week.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

I'd Better Hurry Up.

Recently I noticed that I'm approaching the 3000 post mark.  So I got to thinking that I could reach that milestone this year.  But, as you can see from my recent output I'm really going to have to speed things up to make that happen. 

Friday, July 07, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, July 7, 2017.

A pingpong week to report this time, and not in a good way.  Gas in Saskatoon dropped to 90.4 cents a litre at the start of the week, only to jump midweek to 99.9 cents a litre.  Hopefully it will drop next week, and not jump past the one dollar a litre mark.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, June 30, 2017.

For those who believe that gas prices go up before a holiday this week will be more proof to them.  Gas in Saskatoon has risen to 94.4 cents a litre at most locations.  Just in time for Canada Day and the end of the school year.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

My First.

In honour of Canada's 150th anniversary the Bank of Canada has released a new 10 dollar bill.  I received my first one today.  Not a bad design.  As with other current Canadian bills these are made of polymer, and contain several anti-counterfeit measures.  Hopefully I can get my hands a few more soon.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, June 23, 2017.

A bit more relief for Saskatoon drivers this week.  Gas in Saskatoon has dropped to 87.9 cents a litre at most locations.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sunrise Has Risen.

Back in March Ontario based music retailer Sunrise Records announced its plan to take over various stores run by the HMV chain after HMV announced it was shuttering them.   There were two HMV stores in Saskatoon, one in the Mall at Lawson Heights, and one in Midtown Plaza.  Both have now reopened as Sunrise stores. 

I went into the Lawson store yesterday and the Midtown store today.  They were about what you'd expect from a chain music store, although they're a bit brighter than the old HMVs were.  They both have a good selection, but no real surprises.  And unlike HMV their vinyl LPs are right at the front of the store, an indication of their interest in attracting vinyl buyers.  Whether they'll be able to do what HMV couldn't, maintain a national chain in the digital download and streaming era, remains to be seen.  There's probably no point in guessing until at least after the Christmas buying season, unless of course they really screw things up.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Do They Want Someone To Die?

I watch both boxing and MMA, but at times it's hard to do so without wondering about the ethics of doing so.  Fighting can be dangerous, and sometimes it can be lethal.  Former UFC competitor Tim Hague died after a Friday boxing match.  Hague, 33, fought Adam Braidwood in Edmonton, and was knocked down several times during the fight before being knocked out.  Although he left the ring under his own power he subsequently collapsed, and passed away.  His last boxing match was in April, where he lost by TKO, bringing up the obvious question of whether he should have been allowed to fight by the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission.

This tragedy came only a short time after another Canadian boxer, David Whittom, was severely injured during a May 27th match in Fredericton with Saskatoon boxer Gary Kopas.  He was placed in a medically induced coma after being taken to hospital.  Whittom is another fighter who it could be argued should not have been allowed to fight.  Despite some early success he had racked up a career record of 12-24-1, including losing 18 of his last 20 bouts.  In other words he'd become a human punching bag, hired to be an opponent even though he obviously had no chance of winning.

And what did I find out this morning?  That UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell is talking about fighting again, this time for Bellator.  Liddell last fought in 2010 at UFC 115, when he was KOed by Rich Franklin.  His last three fights were all losses by KO.  He's 47.

Unfortunately I would be entirely unsurprised if he does fight for Bellator.  I've criticised them in the past for signing over the hill fighters, the most notorious example being MMA pioneer Ken Shamrock.  Shamrock was 51 when he fought the late Kimbo Slice in 2015.  He would later fight Royce Gracie, who hadn't fought in years and was really too old to be fighting as well.  Then there's Kimbo Slice.  Slice died in June of 2016 of heart failure, shortly after a mass was found on his liver.  Yet somehow Bellator managed to get him cleared to fight in February of that year.  Keep signing these kind of fighters and you're just increasing the chance of someone sustaining a severe injury, or even dying in the cage.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, June 16, 2017.

Prices have gone down again.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 90.4 cents a litre at most locations.  I don't expect it to drop much further, but I've been wrong before.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Gas In Saskatoon, June 9, 2017.

Fortunately I won't be missing this week's edition.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 93.9 cents a litre at most locations.