New Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M5

While the new Olympus OM-D E-M5 II coming out, Olympus slashed the price on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 which is still an amazing camera.  After researching, debating, agonizing over the purchase, I decided to make the upgrade from the Olympus PEN E-PL2 to the E-M5.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 with 12-50mm lens

I ordered the camera from Don’s Photo in Saskatoon and I hope to have it in a couple of weeks.  Thanks to Jordon who is using his Christmas money for this purchase.  Actually thanks to Jordon who bought (and surprised me) with the Olympus PEN E-PL2 and some amazing lenses since then. 

Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Jordon is working today but I am not.  He did get up early and gave me a new “Canada” spring jacket, a chocolate rose that I wanted and a chocolate rose (my favourite kind of rose).  He also took me down to the CP Rail Bridge in Saskatoon and put a love lock on the stairwell.  The wind was howling and it was unbelievably cold by the time that we climbed the three flights of stairs.  By the time we got back to the car our ears and faces were frozen.  I’m glad he did it.  It was a great romantic gesture.   He does this romance stuff well.

I got him a new hat by Under Armour.  His old hat was stolen out of our Mazda.  It’s not the same but it is close enough and I think he looks good in it.

Under Armour Hat

Think of it as lingerie for bald guys.  Before you comment that I am horrible at this Valentine’s Day stuff, I actually am and this is what Jordon wanted.

For tonight, we are ordering in.  We have tried to go out many times over the years and the food sucks on Valentine’s Day in so many places.  They seat us late, rush some food out, and rush us out.  Not exactly romantic.  There are better nights for us to go out and enjoy being a couple.

We aren’t sure where we are ordering in from yet but I could go for some pizza or Vietnamese food.  After the kids go to bed, we’ll chill out over some gourmet coffee and music to chill out to.  There is a reason why we have a 60 gig iTunes library.

I hope you are having a good day as well.

Gear Check

With the hike to Grey Owl’s Cabin feeling a little closer, we picked up some gear for it this week.

  • Jordon and I both got some toques to sleep in.  It will get down to 6 degrees at night so we needed some toques and glove to sleep in.  Jordon has a couple pair of lightweight gloves but I still need a pair of those.
  • We got some travel containers for liquids.  I have bio-degradable soap but I needed some bottles to carry it in.  I can also pack up some bio-degradable shampoo.  We all like clean hair.
  • Along with some containers for the liquids, Jordon picked up some pot scrubbers.  I wasn’t even thinking of those but since we are cooking out of the same pots and don’t want to carry dirty ones, the couple of ounces it weighs will be worth it.
  • Dawgs has an outlet store in Circle Centre Mall so we picked up a pair of their men’s Spirit Shoes for Mark.  Jordon and I have a pair and they will be comfortable to slip into at the end of a day of hiking.  We picked up a pair for Oliver as well.  At $8, the price can’t be beat.
  • Finally we picked up what will the start of our First Aid Kit.  It has the essentials but I am going to put them in a larger hard plastic waterproof case that will hold some Extra Strength Advil and Tylenol, some moleskin and other things that will come in helpful if we need it.

Restaurant Review: Wok Box

Over the last couple of years Jordon and I have stopped by the Wok Box about a dozen times.  

I often get the Buttered Chicken on Rice but have had a wide variety of meals over the last couple of years.    The Mongolian and chicken teriyaki with noodles is quite tasty and the Wor Wonton is okay (needs more meat in it).  At the end of the day it is a fast food restaurant with an Asian twist.  You walk in, order, get your food quickly and it is up to you to decide if you want to stay or go.  It’s not amazing but for what it is, it is pretty good.

The only thing that disappoints me on the menu is the spring rolls.  They are clearly supplied by a commercial food services company and just tossed in the deep fryer.  They are the same as if you bought some from a grocery store and did them at home.

Unlike a McDonald’s, the recipe is quite varied.  There have been some times when we have been there and haven’t been totally happy with the meal.  The preparation was fine, it just wasn’t what I was expecting.   That happens.

In the end it is pretty good fast food restaurant to stop by at when I get tired of the regular rotation.

Wok Box
3055 Clarence Ave S
Saskatoon, SK S7J4M2

The Wok Box Fresh Asian Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: The Woods Alehouse

The Woods Alehouse in Saskatoon

I used to hate going here.  The only time we went here was when The Rook & Raven, The Congress Beer House and State & Main were all packed.  Each time I regretted it.

Then things started to turn around.  They changed the seating arrangements.  The food improved to the point where it was edible.  There seemed to be a better attitude by the serving staff.  Instead of just having a wide selection of beer, they understood that a pub needs more than that, it needs to be a place where people enjoying going to.

They now have several good things on the menu from some excellent fries to some kind of nacho thing they do with fries instead of chips.   It’s pretty incredible.

There are good sandwiches and wraps as well.  The atmosphere has changed and the serving staff is now pleasant and fun to talk with.

There is a little less seating now then there was.  It makes the place more open, relaxing and more flexible as it is a great place for game nights, poetry slams, or as a place for a big gathering.

Normally places that suck don’t turn themselves around but The Wood’s Alehouse has and in the process has made a lot of us big fans.

The Wood’s Alehouse
148 2nd Ave North 
Saskatoon, SK S7K2B2

Woods Alehouse on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: Alexander’s Restaurant

Alexander's Restaurant

I have been eating at Alexander’s Restaurant for 20 years and it has remained one of my favourite restaurants from the first time I entered the restaurant.  Alexander’s manages to keep what is good while updating and reinventing itself in areas that need improvement like almost no other restaurant I have ever seen.

Long time favourite meals have been the nachos, quesadillas, excellent burgers, sandwiches, and of course their desserts.  Another staple of the Alexander’s dining experience has been excellent service which remains the same no matter how many waitresses and waiters come and go.

Over two decades, the restaurant has changed.  Five or six years ago this would have been a different review as the quality of even the appetizers varied from visit to visit.  Over the last couple of years the consistency of the food has returned which is what you want from a restaurant which serves up some excellent comfort food.

The prices is right, the food is good, and it is fun to go back to a place that brings me back to my college days while still remaining pristine and current.  I love it.

Alexander’s Restaurant & Bar
414 Cumberland Avenue North
Saskatoon, SK
S7N0W7

Alexander's Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon