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Kimler Adventure Pages: Journal Entries
Best North American Island
Per voting in the Condé Nast Traveler Reader's Poll - 2005
If Horace Greeley's advice was "Go West, young man," then there isn't much further west one can go in Canada than Vancouver Island. This will be our new home, as we've decided to accept Rachel's nursing offer at the Nanaimo Regional Hospital. She'll be working as a surgical recovery nurse and come the end of August, we'll be packing up our home of 2 years and 2 months, making the drive back over the Canadian Rockies, loading onto a ferry and heading over to Vancouver Island.
When we moved to Edmonton, we gathered information and made informative posts on both the Province and the city. We thought we'd do the same for this move, since both the island and the city are (relatively) new to us.
For some fast facts on Vancouver Island, photos and a detailed map, read on ...
"Edmonton Oiler Fans Drain Local Supplies" (Story)
Up three games in the best-of-seven NHL Western Conference finals, the Edmonton Oilers weren't able to shut-out the Anaheim Mighty Ducks during game four, played on Thursday, here in Edmonton. Game five is tonight, in Anaheim, and the Oilers have another shot at de-feathering those pesky Ducks. The finals games have been exciting and Oiler-mania has hit Edmonton - BIG TIME! A win tonight means the Edmonton Oilers will be playing in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 16 years.Wahoo! The Oilers WIN game 5 and the series. They're headed east for the Stanley Cup Final!!
An Annoying New Engineering Trend
Our household has suffered some kind of technical flu, recently. Appliances have been "sick" and a couple haven't pulled through. Our 12-year-old microwave succumbed a few weeks ago, refusing to heat anything. Our 2-year-old, pre-pubescent DVD player, put its foot down and refused to register half of the discs we shoved into its face. Spanking the surly preteen only made it more stubborn, refusing to register any discs we fed it. Frustrated, we put it up for adoption (in the back alley) and bought a new one.
Besides the annoyance, aggravation and expense of having to purchase replacements, I've made a very unhappy observation about the new generation of appliances: design engineers have made them annoying and demanding! (This is in addition to the fact that they're cheaply constructed, which is something that everyone knows. Our Magnavox DVD replacement has a plastic shell, for Pete's sake.) I want appliances to efficiently and quietly perform their function, not demand my attention in an annoying fashion. I get enough of that from my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter.
Pretty soon, I will exist only to serve the needs of my appliances.
After buying a new Casio EX-Z850 digital camera, I was disappointed to find that the video quality wasn't as good as its predecessor. See for yourself.
Comparing video with the EX-Z750
When it was time to buy a new digital camera, I zoomed in on the Casio EX-Z750. After reading Ken Rockwell's review, it seemed that this camera had everything I wanted. Then I found out that the EX-Z850 was new to the market and I hunted down a good deal. I figured the EX-Z850 would be an improvement on the EX-Z750. Not in everything, apparently.
Shortly after ordering it, I read that the EX-Z850's video wasn't up to par, compared with the EX-Z750. These observations came from Casio Talk and Mike Davidson. The delivery truck was on its way from the United States to Canada, so I could only wait.
After receiving the camera, I tried it out. I liked the large, bright LCD screen, anti-shake function, superb ergonometrics, quick response, long battery life and past movie mode. But I had nothing to compare the video against. So, I went out locally and purchased a EX-Z750GY (a grey body and one of the few remaining EX-Z750's in town, as it is no longer being manufactured). If fact, Casio recently announced a newer 10 Mega-Pixel model.
Read on for the video comparison...
Consumer Thoughts After Buying a Casio EX-Z850 Digital Camera
The population of the United States is roughly ten times that of Canada. It's no surprise then, that the U.S. has a much more efficient consumer marketplace than Canada. I recently discovered just how much more efficient, after purchasing a Casio EX-Z850 digital camera.
Firstly, I should state that I have no great patriotic allegiance when it comes to making consumer purchases. "Made in the U.S.A.", Canada, China, Taiwan or Mexico, I don't really care. All things being equal, I will buy local, to support the local economy, but in truth, I'm after the best quality/price ratio I can find, with a leaning toward one end of the spectrum or the other, depending on the product. I mean no disrespect to either the U.S. or Canada, as I think both are great. Rather, my experience reflects a growing dissatisfaction over the disparity in pricing, availability, shipping costs, regulations and red tape associated with purchasing products to obtain the best deal.
The EX-Z850 is very new to the marketplace. It was debuted at the PMA Annual Convention & Trade Show in Orlando, Florida, on February 26th (press release). I was happy to get my hands on one at a price well below the MSRP of $399.99(USD), but the convolutions I had to go through, in order to accomplish this, underscores the marketplace differences between Canada and the U.S. This is something that NAFTA is supposed to help fix, but it doesn't really seem to be working too well.
Read on to learn about my purchase choices in Canada, versus the United States and the creative methods employed to obtain the better deal.