Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Canadians get screwed by supposed level exchange rate

Although the Canadian dollar exchange rate has increased by about 25% compared to the American dollar, Canadians at home aren't seeing the benefit and are being ripped off by middlemen.

I can certainly attest that goods and food are much cheaper here in the U.S. compared to when I go home each month. Especially gasoline. Fuel in Edmonton is about $4/gallon (~$1.05/litre), where in Kansas it's hovering around $2.85 right now (~$0.77/litre).

At Denny's restaurant, the popular "Moon's Over My Hammy" and other breakfast slams are about $6.50 here in Topeka. In Edmonton, $8.99.

The list goes on.

Read more about it here.

Monday, June 18, 2007

June trip home

Oh home on the range ye olde Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. E-Town, River City, City of Champions, Capital Region, Deadmonton, Redmonton, Festival City, Oil Town, "The Chuck", whatever you want to call it, it's my home and always will be.

My latest trip home wasn't much different than the one before. Good flight home. Did some wedding gift shopping though, but Karaoke at B-Street on Wednesday night with The Crew was good. Thursday I headed to the office for a bit, then went to Lux to meet with friends.

This time though, Thursday night I was able to attend a lodge meeting at dear old Ivanhoe Lodge. It was a real pleasure seeing everyone again. My good friend and lodge brother, Bro. Gordon Wright, a WWII D-Day navy veteran, received his 50 year Masonic jewel. He's such a humble gentleman, and told us some stories about the war and what an experience it was for a young man to be able to use all this equipment. Click the link on his name to read more about this amazing man.

We also had a Masonic memorial service for WBro. Bob Dean, a former Edmonton Eskimo pro football player who passed away last month. Bob was born in the U.S. and came up to Edmonton to play after he was offered a bigger salary than what the Washington Redskins put on the table. Bob was one of my sponsors into Freemasonry and for that, I will always be grateful, and he will be dearly missed in the Edmonton community.

After lodge, several of us retired to Martini's pub until the witching hour.

Friday evening the boys at the fraternity house hosted a BBQ which several of us alumni went to. Then later a huge crew of friends and I were at Suede lounge. It was really great to see so many people in one place again. Then we headed across the street to On The Rocks which is proving to be a popular live music joint in town.

Saturday, I had my cousin's wedding at Snow Valley. (Now for you non-Canadians, there is actually no snow there right now, in case you were wondering.) The new ski lodge there is now an amazing banquet facility to have events such as a wedding, and the Alberta prime rib was fantastic. My job was to take video of the entire event and I had a lot of fun doing it. It was wonderful to see my cousins, aunts, and uncles, but especially to see my cousin, Christine, get married to a really fun guy, and I've never seen her so darn happy.

Sunday I just relaxed and Monday, dad drove me to the airport with golf clubs in tow.

Next month, Artie and I are doing a big road trip through beautiful British Columbia including watching the Canada Day fireworks from a yacht in Vancouver bay, taking the ferry Vancouver Island, hit some wineries in Kelowna, and visiting my cousin in Kamloops.