At the West Edmonton Mall

Tomorrow, I will be meeting with Millar Western Forest Products in Edmonton. I have come to Edmonton a number of times for work, but it’s always downtown. This meeting is in west Edmonton, and I have a rental car. So this evening I went over to the West Edmonton Mall for the first time since Labour Day, 1998.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t maintaining this blog back then, so I can’t link to it! πŸ™‚

I didn’t have much of an agenda, other than to find some dinner and to scope out the water park. When I found it, I FaceTimed with Miranda and Ian to show it to them. I also took this picture.

Pirate lagoon

I am seriously considering bringing the family here in January as a “vacation”. Between the water park and Galaxyland, I’m sure it would be fun. Lots of hotels in the area.

Christmas Party in Gasoline Alley

Tonight was the Esri Canada Christmas Party. It was held at Gasoline Alley, a museum at Heritage Park. It was dinner and drinks, with some prizes and a jazz combo playing Christmas songs.

Tammy and I at the party

There was a contest for “original” Christmas sweaters. Tammy and I participated in the pageant. I made it to the short list, but lost out to Mark, who did a “strip dance”, because he had a Christmas shirt on under his Superman Christmas sweater.

Tammy answered a trivia question that got our table up to the buffet line second: who was the founding member of the rat pack who was born in 1899? Everybody was guessing the obvious ones, and when the host hinted that he was married to Lauren Bacall, Tammy got it right away. πŸ™‚

Here’s a few more pictures:

Gasoline Alley: it’s not just a clever name

Dad will identify the car in 3… 2… 1…

The event

Hooter on Our Lamppost

I was sitting in the bonus room reading CNN when I heard this deep hooting sound. For a few calls I thought it was some kids goofing around, so after the third round I opened the window to hear its direction and discovered it was perched on top of the lamppost out front of our house. It was dark, but you could see its outline. It was a great horned owl, Alberta’s provincial bird. Β At first I thought it was a cat because of its “horns”. It was so exciting. Almost as exciting as the partridge we had about a week ago. It was calling and another was answering. Simon managed to get a pretty decent shot of it considering the lighting.


…and here’s one of the partridge … 🀣

Happy 19th Birthday Squeak

Today is Squeak’s 19th birthday. Tammy made “moon pies” for her birthday cake, which are chocolate cake with marshmallow filling. They are dark with white, just like Squeaker.

Hard to believe that she’s that old. But then, it has been a very long time since the night that we found her in the hall of our apartment on 15th Avenue.

The arrival of Squeak. Nochie investigating. Simon failing as underwear model.

Also, we have had the “return of the Roomba”. A long time ago, we had a very successful experiment with the iRobot autonomous vacuums. Unfortunately, their battery packs wore out and we couldn’t find any in the local stores. I wanted to get rid of them if they weren’t going to be used, but Tammy insisted on keeping them. Just recently, I went shopping on Amazon recently and found new, higher-capacity battery packs at a reasonable cost so ordered them. Our house now has the sound of vacuum robots again. Ian isn’t nearly so afraid of them as he was back then.

Roomba cleaning the kitchen floor



The Birds…….(dramatic music ensuing)

They seem to do this every year around here. Hundreds of crows migrating but taking a pitstop in Westhills.

I feel like I’m starring in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds movie. I have video but it’s too big for this site apparently. Posted on Facebook instead.

Simon steps in and… voila!  😎

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

Or in this case, there was a family who unpacked their china. Unpacking the china led to the china cabinet. Then that led to Ian asking if we could put the ping pong table up. Then that led to Simon trying to move some of the clutter out of the way in the craft room.

And that led to spending most of the day reorganizing the storage room. You would think that I would grumble about that, but I can’t. The results are awesome:

And the treasure I found… We went through some boxes that hadn’t been opened since the move and here’s a few things that were discovered today:

  • The puzzle mat and tube to roll it up with,
  • My old ADB mouse for my ancient Power Macintosh,
  • Ted’s two long-lost brothers (stuffed bears),
  • Some sweaters I’d thought I didn’t have any more,
  • My thermal underwear and warm socks,
  • A long-lost part for one of my guitar stands.

You get the idea. I also tried on my motorcycle racing leathers. They still fit. πŸ™‚

And in the end, I set up the ping pong table, too. πŸ“

China Cabinet

Just over a month ago, the kids and I unpacked the china. We used it for Thanksgiving dinner, and then it went into limbo. We didn’t want to re-pack it, and we were waffling on what to do.

Today we bought a couple of “Oxberg” doors from Ikea. They fit with the “Billy” bookcase line. When we re-did Miranda’s room, she didn’t want her white Billy bookcase any more, so it was down in the basement, awaiting its fate. Combine two new doors with existing bookcase, and hey-presto! A new china cabinet.

China Cabinet and Royal Albert Val’Or on display

Hello from Edmonton

Hot on the heels of my trip to Parkland County, I find myself in Alberta’s capital. It was an early Red Arrow bus ride this morning. I worked on my NaNoWriMo novel on the bus ride, and then the sun came up.


Today was a day with ATCO. Tonight I am staying at the Matrix Hotel. My room has a nice little balcony with a table and chairs.

Maybe not

Tomorrow is a day with Enbridge, and then the Red Arrow back to Calgary. It’s a long couple of days.

Halloween con’t in the west

We had about 129 kids this year. Tristan took the kids out for the first half and I answered the door. Then we switched. Scared quite a few kids and adults. Had a handful that refused to come up to the door (evil laugh ensuing). We had the front window open a crack to listen for people and could hear kids saying things like “Can you come up to the door with me?” and “This is the house that scares everyone”.

Job done. *Mic drop*



I had a zombie under the bench that moans and reaches forward which starts the screams then the furnace critter pops up after they think they’ve overcome the zombie.

Halloween 2017

It’s not nearly as nice a Halloween evening as we’ve had in years past, but the kids bundled up in their costumes and headed out for trick or treating.

The convict and the plague doctor

Tammy was working tonight, so Miranda took Ian around while I answered the door. Their outing was uneventful, and them made it home, with bags bursting with candy.

Returning with loot

The great candy sorting

It’s now 8:30, and I’m going to turn off the pumpkins. The count from years past and now 2017, too:

  • 2013 – 61
  • 2014 – 78
  • 2015 – 57
  • 2016 – 50
  • 2017 – 52

Not bad, considering the temperature (2 degrees) and the smattering of rain.