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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Delayed Gratification

Last weekend, I was faced with the terrible choice between heading into the city for the day, or just laying around the house and planning to accomplish as little as possible.  I chose accomplishing as little as possible, and may I say, I succeeded spectacularly.  But, I was still itching to head into Edmonton, so that became my plan for this weekend.  I was starting to think that it was time to purchase something I'd been planning to buy for a while now.  Today would be the day!  I decreed it to be so!

So I was off to the city, and first stop was Wal-Mart.  I needed a photo album.  For you see, I collect postcards.  When I receive a postcard, I hang it on the fridge to enjoy for a few months or so before placing it into an album and then filing it away.  However, my last album filled up around 2 years ago, and the magnets on my fridge can no longer support the weight of all my postcards.  This is one of those things I'd been putting off for far too long.  A photo album was easy to procure, and I knew my Sunday is now destined to be filled with scrapbooking.  But this is not the item I was to purchase.

From Wal-Mart, it was down the road to SuperStore.  Those who follow me on Facebook know that recently I've been longing for a taste from my childhood...Cocoa Pebbles.  They haven't been widely available in Canada since at the least the mid-1990s.  My original plan was to just buy some online, but I can't seem to find an online retailer that'll ship them to Canada.  But then, through the social networks, came word that they'd recently been spotted in SuperStore.  When I went home for Thanksgiving a few weeks ago, I stopped in at the SuperStore in Spruce Grove, but to no avail.  I hoped that maybe I'd have better luck at the SuperStore in St. Albert.  But, once I'd done the search of the store, I was 0 for 2.  They were not to be found at the St. Albert SuperStore.  Disheartened, I continued on my journey into the heart of the city.

I arrived at my beloved West Edmonton Mall.  I hadn't treated myself to a movie in a while, and I was itching to see Gravity.  All the reviews I'd read online says that it looks absolutely amazing if you can catch it in 3D IMAX, so I decided to pay the extra and see it in 3D IMAX.  I hit the mall at 11, but my show wasn't until 12:10, so I bought my ticket, grabbed some lunch, and started doing some shopping. 

Did the usual browse through HMV.  Pacific Rim came out on Blu-Ray this past week.  I wasn't planning on getting it, because, truth be told, I was actually a little underwhelmed by it.  I mean, I understand that it makes things easier for the computer animation, but I'm getting really sick and tired of these giant monsters always attacking at night, in the rain.  I can hardly see anything!  And once you get past the awesomeness of the giant robots fighting giant monsters, it's pretty much just Independence Day with giant aliens instead of people-sized aliens.  But...HMV had it at a really good price and I couldn't resist. 

And when I purchased it, I did encounter one of my annoyances with these store rewards programs.  A few years back, I finally got so sick and tired of the HMV clerks always asking me if I wanted to sign up for their rewards program, that I finally said yes.  So when I bought Pacific Rim today and she swiped my card, she was pleased to inform me that I almost had 60,000 points, and at 60,000, I get...$3 off my next purchase.  Really?  $3 off?  That's all?  With so many of these rewards programs, you have to accumulate a ridiculously large amount of points for the most miniscule of rewards that they really have no purpose. 

Anyway, time for the movie.  I headed on up to the 3D IMAX theatre in West Edmonton Mall, got all comfy in my seat, then started messing around on my phone.  And I see an old friend had posted a picture on my Facebook wall.  He was out shopping at his local SuperStore, and lo and behold, they had Cocoa Pebbles!  On sale!  The caption he included said, "They're at SuperStore today!   Go go go!"  I sadly replied that I had already been to my local SuperStore, and there was nary a box to be found.  I set the phone for silent, put it back in my pocket, and it was time for Gravity to begin.

Movie Poster for Gravity

Holy moly, Gravity.  This is just an amazing film.  It's not scary, but I was covering my eyes quite a bit as I was fearing for the characters on the screen.  The plot:  we have two astronauts out on a spacewalk.  George Clooney is the season vet, who'll be retiring after this mission.  Sandra Bullock is the rookie, just out of training and on her first mission.  But then, a freak accident destroys the space shuttle, and they're left all alone, stranded in space.  And this is the tale of their survival.

It's really all on Sandra Bullock to carry this film, and she does so remarkably.  And the special effects are just outstanding.  It manages to inject a little humour into it, too.  It's just so very, very good.  4 out of 4 Nibs.  Full review in the days ahead.

After the film, I fired up my phone to tweet my review, when I saw my friend with the Cocoa Pebbles connection wrote me another message.  "Would you like me to buy a few boxes and send them up on the Greyhound?"  Ooo.  An intriguing proposition.  I decided to dwell on it while I continued my browsing of the mall.

Did my usual browsing...didn't see much of interest.  The Microsoft Store is now open in West Edmonton Mall.  Didn't stop in, because it was crowded as hell and I didn't feel like fighting my way through.  Stopped in at the Disney Store, and I had to ask a clerk a question that me and several of my fellow geeks had been wondering for a while:  now that Disney owns Star Wars, when is the Disney Store going to start carrying Star Wars stuff?  The clerk chuckled (apparently, they've been getting this question a lot) and told me that they'll be getting stuff to tie in with the new movie in 2015, but as for before 2015, it's anybody's guess. 

I made it back out to my car, and before I went on my merry way, I knew I had to try one last thing.  In the vicinity of West Edmonton Mall is the west end SuperStore.  I would make one last gambit for Cocoa Pebbles.  With the photo my friend sent, I knew I should stop looking in the breakfast cereal aisle, and instead focus on the pallets they have scattered around the store for special items.  But alas, a survey of both left me Pebbles-less.  It looked like three strikes and I was out in the Pebbles department. 

But it was time achieve the primary objective of the day.  The hour drew nigh!  As you may recall, back in the spring, I went to buy some new ink cartridges for my printer, only to be told that they don't make them anymore.  Since then, I've been in the market for a new printer.  Doing some online window shopping earlier in the week, I saw the one I coveted on sale at Staples.  It's one of those 3-in-1 units, so I'd also get me a scanner and finally be able to scan stuff, like that postcard collection I'd talked of earlier.  I arrived at Staples, I went to their printer section, and....

My heart sank.  The sale ended a few days ago, and my coveted printer had gone back up to full price.  I sat and stared at it for at least 15 minutes, doing the math in my head, re-arranging my budget, and wondering if I should just say "Fuck it" and buy it no matter the price, or leave it to another day and get my savings to a more comfortable location. 

I left empty-handed.  I decided to leave the printer for another day.  And in doing so, I was able to make another decision I'd been putting off.  I pulled out my phone, and responded to my friend's offer to ship me some Cocoa Pebbles.  "No thanks," I said.  "I think I'll have to let this go for now."  I mean, let's be honest.  If I can't afford the printer, then there's no way I should be wasting money having exotic breakfast cereals of the stone age shipped to me, right? 

The elusive Cocoa Pebbles that my friend spotted.

I hopped back in my car, ol' Bessie-Lou I call her, and headed north for home.  I was printer-less.  I was Pebbles-less.  But someday, I'll be able to able to eat chocolaty breakfast cereals while scanning and printing stuff.  Not today, not tomorrow, but someday. 

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