Friday, May 22, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, May 22, 2015.

This week things went up.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 104.9 cents a litre at most locations.  It may actually be going down as I write this, but unfortunately I can't spend all my time watching signs, waiting for the next change.

Today's Dumbdumb.

Obviously there are zillions I could choose from.  But today I will highlight a very local one.  I live a couple of blocks from Sid Buckwold Park.  Sometimes people park cars they have for sale by the park on McKercher Drive, hoping to get some cheap advertising.  Today someone parked their for sale red Ford Taurus by the park. Just about right in the middle of the bus stop, by the bus shelter and its associated garbage can/bench.  I seriously can't imagine how they could miss them, along with the associated bus stop signs in front and behind where they parked. 

I suspect they won't enjoy the parking ticket they're certain to get, or having to get their vehicle out of impound if it ends up being towed.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sunday, May 17, 2015

How Could You, Jeph?

You can't have Hannelore come down with some terrible disease.  After all, it's Hannelore. At least it's not likely to be Butts Disease.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, May 15, 2015.

Whoops, just about missed it this time, but here it is.  Gas in Saskatoon dropped just a little this week.  Gas is now 95.9 cents a litre at most locations.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I'll Take Some Other Route.

I watched most of an episode of Railroad Alaska Tuesday night on the Canadian Discovery Channel.  I don't think I'll bother with another.  It's another reality show where it seems a little too staged for its own good.  No, the cast aren't professional actors, but a lot of what's onscreen is pretty obviously hyped up to things seem more dramatic than they really are. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

There Was More.

German singer Peter Schilling is a classic example of a one hit wonder(internationally at least).  His 1983 single "Major Tom(Coming Home)" was a major hit in various markets, including Canada and the US.  Nothing else Schilling released had any international impact.  But of course, being recorded in the album era, the song was part of an album, Error in the System.   "I Have No Desire" was another song on the album, and it's quite catchy.  The lyrics seem just as relevant in our era of 24 hour media saturation as they did in during the Cold War tensions of the early '80s.

The early and mid '80s were a good time to be a German group, with acts such as Trio, the Scorpions, Nena, and Alphaville making an international splash.  You could also include American Tony Carey as well, as his albums, under his own name and as Planet P Project, were recorded in West Germany with mainly German musicians.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, May 8, 2015.

After a period of stability we had a ping-pong week.  At the beginning of the week gas jumped to 101.9 cents a litre, before dropping back to 97.9 cents a litre midweek.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

May Thunder.

As I write this a thunderstorm is passing through Saskatoon.  A bit unusual for this time of year, but it was predicted in the 4 PM forecast.  Thunderstorms were predicted a couple of times in April, but didn't occur.  There have even been a couple of cool streaks of lightning.

I Hate Answering The Phone.

Please don't phone me.  Not that many people do.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

When I Rule The World 27.

Only cats and dogs whose appearances I like will be allowed.  Cats and dogs with smushed in faces, dogs that look like rats pretending to be dogs, those scary hairless cats, all will be forbidden.  Seriously, why would you want ugly little dogs when you could have something appealing, like a beagle?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What A Range.

We still have a bit of snow on the ground.  Yet the temperature as I write this is 28 degrees Celsius(over 80 degrees Fahrenheit for you non-metric folks).  It seems like Summer and Winter at the same time, and it's swung that far in less than a week.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Just A Little Extra.

If you're really into filing your tax return late this will make you happy.  Due to an error at the Canada Revenue Agency the deadline for filing tax returns has been moved to May 5th.  Of course if you'd done your taxes weeks ago you wouldn't have worried about the deadline in the first place.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

You'd Better Not Forget.

It's just a few days until the deadline for Canadian tax returns for 2014, unless of course you file more than yearly.  So make sure you get it done.  You don't want to piss off Mr. Wilson and Mr. Heath, especially since they're dead.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Winter Returns.

Well, not really.  But it is snowing quite heavily here today.  There might be less than a week left in April, but snow at this time of year isn't much of a surprise.  Good thing for me I still had my winter jacket handy, since I decided to go out via bus for a bit today.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, April 17, 2015.

It's always nice to see the price of gas drop, at least if you're a consumer.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 93.9 cents a litre at most locations.  This time last year it was hovering around the 130 cents mark.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


The month is half gone, and this is only the fourth post I've written.  This is definitely not acceptable. 

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Not Many Customers.

Doing a search on eBay tonight I noticed that one product was listed as coming from Korea, South.  In a way the South part is probably redundant.  After all I doubt the typical North Korean is allowed to buy or sell on eBay, or that PayPal would accept North Korean won as payment.  The handful of people that might conceivably be allowed access to eBay no doubt use some other method of acquiring goods.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Gas In Saskatoon, April 2, 2015.

A nice Easter treat for Saskatoon drivers, a price drop.  Gas in Saskatoon is now 97.9 cents a litre at most locations.  Hopefully we won't see a price increase for a while.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Target Lost.

Today was the end of Target's operations in Saskatoon.  The Mall at Lawson Heights store closed yesterday.  The Centre at Circle and 8th store will end operations tonight.  I went to the latter last night, assuming it would be less busy than today.  Frankly it looked almost like a riot had taken place.  Most of what was left was clothing, and much of that was scattered around the store.  From the looks of it some stuff was dropped by customers who decided at the last minute not to buy things.  This seems consistent with news reports about other Target outlets, with employees noting piggish behaviour by would be customers.(I'm probably insulting pigs by saying that.)

Target likely holds as much of the blame as the customers do.  I was in those same stores when Zellers, the previous holder of those spaces, closed their doors in 2013.  Even at the very end the Zellers stores looked neater that what I saw yesterday.  It seemed as if some of the employees were still willing to put some effort at making a good impression.  Perhaps the difference then was that Zellers had generated loyalty in both its customers and its employees, and Target's Canadian operations never managed to do that.

I've never been to an American Target store, but there were multiple news reports that Canadian buyers didn't find the experience the same, or the prices as low.  This strikes me as na├»ve on their part.  Surely some of these people must have visited Walmarts in the US, and noticed the Canadian ones weren't clones of the American stores, especially when it came to price.  Operating in Canada is always going to be a bit more expensive than the US, even when the Canadian dollar is closer to the US one, as it was when Target opened.

In the end though Target's disastrous Canadian foray was the result of their own mistakes.  Reports indicated an inability to understand the Canadian market, and an unwillingness to change their ways until it was too late, which seems odd.  You'd think someone at Target would have realised the value of hiring former or even current Walmart executives, given the latter's long and successful operations in Canada.  Along with price complaints the most commonly heard criticism of Target was their lack of selection, which was obvious even to the casual customer, and which they never managed to correct.  To me at least the Saskatoon stores lacked any sort of energy that would encourage customers to become regular patrons.  This was a result of that lack of selection and other things, like the absence of any sort of music or customer information from an in store PA system.  They may also have hurt themselves with their unwillingness to offer previous Zellers employees preference in hiring for the new stores, people familiar with the markets they were serving.

Given how poorly they did in Canada, a country with strong cultural similarities to the US, and a common language, English, spoken in most of the country, I hate to think they might have done if they'd picked a non-English market as their first expansion attempt.  Target's foreign expansion plans are likely to remain on the back burner for a long time to come given what has happened here.