So, today FSU and I decided to hit the Farmers' Market. I'm still not used to the attitude switch from the now "typical" Calgary in the city compared to "old" Calgary at the markets. It's always a bit disconcerting, highly nostalgic, and I really miss that feel to this city. BUT, the market is soooo dangerous. >.<;;
Today started, as usual, by hitting the fruit stand and buying miscellaneous veggies and fruit when I discovered "kiwi berries". Much like the name says, they're like very small kiwis and you can eat the skin (although I prefer not to), and they're so YUM! Poor FSU, the guy at the counter asked if we'd ever had them, and since I hadn't, he had me try one first. Needless to say, I was hooked and bought a pack. Poor FSU had to listen to me be ecstatic over the fruit but couldn't have any since she's allergic to strawberries and kiwi. ^^;;
We then promptly started our rounds through the market and ended up buying some worsted weight alpaca-wool-mohair as well as some white sock yarn which we plan to dye. The woman selling yarn told us that she'd be more than happy to buy back any extra skeins we bought if need be as we were debating how much yarn to buy (FSU was trying to decide between plain sweater amounts or cable sweater quantity). The woman also wants to see what we end up making. ^^; (I was wearing some handmade socks, but not the alpaca ones. Those are *so* warm! I actually complained to FSU that they're a bit too warm. ^^;
The third really bad place we hit was Wapiti Ways--an elk meat shop. Last time we went there, we picked up a small packet of elk jerky on a whim. This time, they were having a sale--3 roasts for the price of 2. I've never had elk roast before, so I was a bit unsure, but the meat will last ~1 year in the freezer, so I can try a few things over that time. I guess they wanted to move the roasts as it was the two lower priced roasts paid for, the most expensive free. I'll be trying out the first roast this week some time and see how that goes. Apparently, their herd has been domesticated for ~12 generations now, so it shouldn't be gamey. The jerky is lovely. Much better than standard beef jerky, although there's a town somewhere in central Alberta that's supposed to have really good jerky. ^^;
Other places hit include Little Simon Pies--rapidly becoming a staple visit, Ladybug bakery--I've heard some rumours about bad blood between this place and Manuel Latruwe, but shall see how the pastries are; we'll be going to ML on Wed IIRC, Totalitea, and the bagel shop. I forgot how small and firm Montreal bagels are. I need to go there again for the bagels. :P Actually, I've never been to the shop over in... Outremont? which is supposed to be really famous there. (I lose for being on the game. I lived in that city for four years and never once went to Outremont or "the other side" of the mountain for shopping). ^^;
Next time, I'm thinking about trying the free-range chicken and beef shop and maybe another game meat. I'm a bit wary about game meats though as we're a bit love-hate with them here. I've had a couple foods go into that sort of love-hate relationship where I loved them at one point, and suddenly couldn't stand them. Mutton/lamb did that to me. I'm not fond of it if it's too gamey, but I had to eat mutton for a full week when on vacation once. I couldn't touch lamb for a couple of years after that. ^^;
In some ways I think we don't go to the market enough. In other ways, I think if we went there any more often, not only would we be bankrupt, we'd be very, very stuffed. ^^;
Otherwise... lkk, I blame you for this. If you hadn't ask me about gel pens, I could've lived in blissful ignorance. >.<; First the quick answer for the question: gel pens are like a cross between rollerball and ballpoint pens. They started hitting the market in the 90's I think and they come in various ink colours. The ink itself is thicker than rollerballs, but thinner than ballpoint, so they tend to write very smoothly but dry quite quickly.
My personal fave gel pen is the Hi-Tec-C pens in a 0.4 mm tip. They also come in 0.5 mm, 0.3 mm, and 0.25 mm. IIRC, Pentel also has a series of gel pens, but they're much thicker; perhaps 0.7 mm or so (not defined) and they can get blotchy over time. FSU uses the Hi-Tec-C pens for accounting and such, and apparently the ones you can get in Canada (at Office Depot perhaps?) aren't very good. The colour fades. The ones from Japan don't do this, so just about every time I go there, I pick some up for her.
Now, the bad part... when looking for info on Pilot's site about gel pens, I discovered there's nothing about the Hi-Tec-C on the US site. So, being the bright-eyes I'm not, I popped over to the Japanese site and discovered information on the Hi-Tec-C pens including the (35?) different colours:
And then I discovered these pens:
>.<;; Currently, there are only 14 colours available for them. ^^;;
This is why Japan's very bad for me. If ever I'm in a stationery store, I tend to get lost in all the pens, pencils, markers, etc. Sometimes it's a matter of liking the feel of something, other times, I just want all the colours. :P
As it is, I think I'm heading for the stationery shop tomorrow and maybe Mona Lisa depending if I need any more artsy supplies. I don't know if I'll hit Pudding Yarns while I'm in the area. (They're all within a block or two of one another). ^^; This week is promising to be very expensive and busy on the shopping front. I need to hit the Asian market for food, too. No rice=major problem. ^^;