Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Second place? Yes please!

While driving to work yesterday, I heard about one of the craziest—most dangerous—radio contests ever.

Now that a day has passed, I can’t remember what you had to do to win, but it was the prize itself that was most concerning. What would the winner take home? A $1,000 Tim Horton’s Gift Card…accompanied by a “Front of the Line” pass! This pass would allow you to march right up to the front counter, bypassing the entire line. Now I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the typical Tim Hortons-goer, but up here in Fort McMurray you’d be putting your life in your hands if you decided to play your Front of the Line card.

Seriously…can you honestly imagine walking past 15 (or more) 250-lb. shift workers who’d been standing in line at least 20 minutes?

The Front of the Line card sounds like a Meet Your Maker card to me.

This is one contest where I’d gladly take second place.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My intro to FMM

Many people have heard me talk about the crazy welcome mat Fort McMurray laid out for me last April, but I wanted to support my claim with photographic evidence.

This photo was taken April 20, 2008 at 11:47 a.m.

Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I'm just making sure these boys do everything correctly while installing struts and swaybar links on my car.

Another day in the garage, no big deal.

Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Monday, September 7, 2009

Blue screen of death

This is never a good thing.

Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Friday, September 4, 2009

Game on!

Yesterday afternoon I answered a call on my cell phone from someone responding to my leaf blower/weed eater ad on Kijiji (a free classifieds site). The only problem? I don't own a leaf blower/weed eater. He rattled off the telephone number. It matched.

First thought: FML.

So, I go on to Kijiji and sure enough, there it is in all its free advertisement glory: my phone number alongside a snazzy picture of a 3 in 1 yard maintenance tool.

I e-mail Kelsey telling her about the situation, knowing she'd get a kick out of it. She did.

Thankfully, I only received one call about the gardening contraption.

Then, my phone rings this afternoon and I notice the caller ID lists an unfamiliar number. I think to myself: great, someone else looking for the god damn leaf blower.

Nope. Not this time. This time the guy on the other end of the phone is asking about the BlackBerry Curve I have for sale--ON KIJIJI.

First thought: you cannot be effing serious.

Sure enough, he rattles off the phone number, I tell him I don't have one for sale and we hang up. I once again check Kijiji and there it is, my phone number listed with a pretty bang-on description of my phone.

Only this time. Something's funny. Something about this ad is a little....familiar.

First of all, the reason the person in the said ad is giving up this BlackBerry Curve is because he/she has got a work BlackBerry and doesn't need a pesonal one. Interestingly enough, I carry two BlackBerrys (one for work, one for personal....or one for drugs and one for prostitution, if you will). The listed PDA was also silver and had been "kept in a case" so it had minimal scratches. Hmm...also familiar. But the real kicker? The abundant presence of exclamation points!!!!!!!

For those of you who know me, you will know that I absolutely hate multiple exclamation points on anything. There is nothing you are writing that requires that many punctuation marks. One mark will do, thanks, we get it, it's important.

I digress.

So, after thoroughly reviewing the ad, alight bulb goes off: someone is pranking me!

A quick call to my little sister verifies my suspicion. But, not only did she list it in the Fort McMurray kijiji site, she also put it on the Edmonton site (only for more money).

So far, I've only had two calls on the BlackBerry, but I just want her to know: She has no idea what she's got herself into.

Watch for more information on the Sister Prank War coming your way soon.

*Blow Whistle*

It's game time!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Leave my nest alone

For the fourth time in 16 months, I am collecting boxes and weeding out closets in preparation of an unplanned relocation.

In April 2008 I made the decision to move from Vernon, B.C. to Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Then, in July 2008 I moved from company-provided housing into a generous friend's house. This friend provided me (and later, Kelsey) with a great rental deal. Unfortunately, six months later, he and his gf decided to move back into the house. In keeping with his generous nature, he let us stay until his gf's house sold and offered us the luxury of being able to stay in the house AFTER they moved in if we weren't able to find a place right away. Fortunately for him, we found a place a few blocks away and moved out.

That brings us to our current situation. We moved into our four bedroom duplex in April, just before Scott's arrival. Our time here has been quite enjoyable--plenty of room, separate bathrooms, a west-facing deck, and of course, our amazing pool.

All was going well until yesterday when we got word that, once again, a landlord had decided to move back into his rental unit. This wouldn't be so bad if we weren't happy with where we were living (especially for the price) and hadn't just moved in five months ago.

After a few hours of running around to view a number of possibilities yesterday, we finally narrowed it down to three options: O'Coffey Crescent, Saline Creek Drive and Wood Buffalo. After debating back and forth about which one should win, I made Scott and Kelsey participate in a highly-scientific points-based scoring system to select the winner. Using a scale of one through five, we agreed to settle on one score for each of the following criteria: furniture, price, yard/deck situation, bedroom separation and parking. With grand totals of 18 points, O'Coffey Crescent and Wood Buffalo ended up in a tie for top spot, but ultimately, O'Coffey won due to its close proximity to our current location. Saline Creek had two downfalls: the first was that the landlord lived downstairs and the second was that the previous tenant doused himself in gasoline and lit himself on fire while inside the house (100% serious here). However, the plus side of this story is that the house has been completely rebuilt. Still a creepy omen though.

We are now just waiting to hear from Landlord Lori of O'Coffey Crescent. Then, the $3,000 damage deposit and $3,000 first month's rent will be in her hands within days. Yup, that's right folks, welcome to Fort McMurray. You need a frigging downpayment just to get a rental unit. I guess this is why they don't recommend coming here sans-employment.

So as you are all enjoying the last few days of summer, please think of us in this little ol' town sweating our asses off as we pack boxes, load and unload trucks.

Oh, and Landlord Lori: don't even think about moving back.