What is there to do in Edmonton on a Saturday afternoon at the end of Oktober?
Well, if the weather is nice, which it was this past weekend, although a little chilly, you can go up to Whyte Ave. and the Strathcona section of town and hang out with superannuated hippies (like me) and hardy western patio latté sippers bookstore browsers art gallery appraisers.
Or you can go to West Edmonton Maul. Been there. Done that. Got the sweatshirt. (I’m not joking. A few years ago, I had a sweatshirt specially embroidered with those exact words at the West Edmonton Maul.)
If you’re from out of province it’s almost obligatory that you engage in some kind of shopping. Why? No provincial sales tax! So I did. I bought two things, big ticket items as they say.
One: my new cell phone. A little early for this one. The old one was working fine, but the battery was beginning to seem a little iffy. Off to Telus downtown, a block away from my hotel. This turned out not to be such a big ticket item, though, because (unlike DT) I signed up for three years, since I need it for my other work anyway. Cost me 50 bucks (no sales tax but still the infernal VAT, or GST as those placid Canucks call it). However, I had to go through technohell to program it. Or rather the inexperienced sales clerk/Saturday manager went through technohell, because for some reason the phone had been previously programmed for Alberta of all places and needed to be reformatted or otherwise dumped in an acid bath so that it would respond to an Ontario accent. And after that I discovered that none of the speed dial or Mike numbers had been transferred to the new phone and so I spent a good portion of the next 2 days doing this by hand after basically figuring out how to work the damn phone by trial and error because the manual’s a piece of crap.
Two: an iPod. See, over the last couple of years I’ve downloaded small stacks of Buddhist teachings from the Internet. I won’t say Buddhist monks/teachers are long-winded. But many of these files are too long to fit onto a CD. What to do? They’re taking up space while I decide to listen to them as I type up my weekly blogette. So I bought an iPod. Oddly enough, the installation of software to my computer went well. But not well enough. Something was not quite working. A day later, the iPod informed me it needed to be reformatted as well. Restored was the word, I think. Restored? It’s brand new! The Sistine Chapel needs restoration! The Roman Catholic Church needs restoration…(sorry, that was reformation wasn’t it?) Not my brand new iPod. But sure enough, after being restored it began operating just as all the pdf userguide tutorial help pages assured me it was supposed to. Now I have my ears iPlugged with Dharma. Yeah, I’ve put some music on it too.