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Posted : 08/22/07

Okay! I recently went on a short voyage southward to Grand Forks, North Dakota. Actually, I've been there plenty of times over my life, and each time, it's a pretty memorable trip. Not that I do much other than buy things and eat, but I guess that's what a vacation is about, right? Anyway, I took a few pictures of stuff, and here's a gallery of them. I've added some commentary so it kind of counts as an article, but don't expect any, you know, entertainment. Because that's just not in the budget.

Also, since it's photo-oriented, but I don't want to make everything huge here, all photos are clickable for King-Size goodness. Mmm Whopper.

Section 1: Is it art? ...no.

This one... I dunno. It's kind of cool looking, because the tint of the window makes everything blueish, but that's about it. I really just took it because I wanted to see how well I could take pictures out the window.

by now, you probably have some idea just how bad I am at using a camera. 80% of my pictures come out blurry, this is no exception. I just thought a shot down the hallway would look cool, but the blurriness ruins that. Also, I figured maybe I'd be able to use it for drawing reference some time later on. That's still possible.

It's parking lot! How mystifying!

On second thought, it's just a damn parking lot.

Section 2: I see things!

On our first day, we set out from our hotel to head for Fargo, so we could take in their fabulous mall and whatnot. It was about an hour drive, and on the way I saw a house. In the middle of nowhere. Having spent much time driving out in the middle of nowhere, I was not surprised to see a house. But it was a huge house. You can't tell from the picture, but it was mansion-esque in size. It jsut kind of stuck out at me, so I took a picture of it.

Much like on every road in Winnipeg, there were a few road crews scattered about on the way to Fargo. On the way, The Tall One and I kept pointing out which ones were likely Transformers. I surmised that this one was two Transformers.

Aaaah the magnificent West Acres Mall. Fargo's main tourist attraction. Upon being inside, I discovered that they had basically nerfed the damn thing since last time I was here. At least for me.

Firstly, they'd turned the huge dark arcade into a dinosaur-themed children's play area. That was disappointing, as this was the last truly great dark arcade that I know of. If anyone knows one close enough, maybe enlighten me? And none of this Rucker's bullshit. I want a real dark arcade, and one that actually has a Metal Slug machine. Preferably a Crazy Taxi and a Super Off-Road too.

Their next maor infraction was that they had not a single music store. I don't remember if there had been on there before, but the only place you could find any music in the damn place was Hot Topic, and needless to say, their variety wa a bit limited. On the upside, they had a Software Etc, which is EB/GameSpot with slightly less retarded employees, and two Orange Juliusees.

ZOMG it's Toys 'R' Us! I work at a Toys 'R' Us so this is exciting to me!

But seriously, this place was ooold-school. Huge Geoffrey on the front of the store? Does Geoffrey even really still exist? Corporate mascots don't seem all that important anymore, I guess. Anyway, inside was like walking into a time machine. They had all the board games along one wall, and most of the video games required you to take a ticket to the cashier. My store hasn't had game tickets for years and years. They also had an impressive selection of battery-operated ride-ons as opposed to our current three or so. And "Display Model" tickets! If I could change one thing about my store, it would be that I was in charge, but the second thing I would change is having tickets specifically for items for which only the display model remains. As it stands, we only have hastily scribbled notes denoting such an issue on regular tickets, and most customers don't notice until one of us brings the stupid thing up for them.

Honestly, I could go on for hours about things I saw in there, but it would mean nothing to the general populace, so I'll cut it off here.

Honestly, you try saying "Loaf 'n Jug" without laughing.

Section 3: Materialism!

I acquired a ton of awesome stuff on my trip, and while I'd love to take pictures of it all, I just don't feel like going through all the effort. So ehre are a few of the highlights.

Obtained from a Mrs. Fields in the West Acres mall, this, if you could not tell, is a peanut butter cookie with a Reese Peanut Butter Cup built in. It is the single most awesome cookie I have ever eaten.

Ben & Jerry's ice cream was dirt-cheap at the Wal-Mart in Grand Forks (as opposed to soul-crushingly expensive at home), and they had a couple flavours I've never seen before, so I took the libery of picking up a couple.

The one you see above, "Cinnamon Buns", is exactly that. It's ice cream with bits of cinnamon bun batter mixed in. I exaggerate to no dgreee here when I say that this tastes like absolute Heaven. It is my new most favouritest thing in the world.

"Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream", despite the fantastic celebrity tie-in, was not so fortunate as the Cinnamon Buns flavour. Though it was completely my fault. See, we didn't really have a freezer in the hotel room, and it didn't keep too well in the fridge, so I ended up having to eat Americone Dream Soup. To its credit though, I imagine that the chocolate/caramel/waffle cone motif would have been wonderful in ice cream form.

I consider Mr. Garrador here to be my greatest treasure from the trip, for two reasons. Firstly, the Resident Evil toy line likely launched years ago when the game was released for GameCube, so finding even one of the figures was incredibly lucky in itself. Secondly, I found some figures in the Spencer Gifts in Grand Forks' Columbia Mall, but there were only Regenerators and Zealots, neither of which I really wanted. On an off chance, we briefly went back to Fargo, and the Spencer Gifts in West Acres had a single Garrador, on sale for $10! What a stroke of luck!

Sadly, he has like zero articluation and his claws don't like to stay on. Oh well, I just bought it for decoration anyway.

The most hilarious thing I bought all weekend were most definitely these Stylish Moustaches. Just having them makes me giggle with glee, and wearing one is fantastic comedy all in itself. Sadly, the adheive material on the back of them isn't too strong, and comes off easily whenever one's lip moves, particularly in the event of a smile, which a certain me cannot hold back wen coming in contact with another person while wearing one of these beauties.

FUN TRIVIA!: I occasionally wear a stylish moustache whilst driving.

Playing to my lusts for both DVDs of cherished childhood programming and anything Nintendo-branded, these two Mario boxsets nearly made me mess my pants when I saw them. I knew that volume 2 of the Super Show was coming, as I have owned volume 1 for a long while now, but The Adventures of Super Mario Bros 3 was completely unexpected, and I threw down the $25 or whatever other reasonable price they were asking for it without any hestiation whatsoever.

Wow! Talk about right up my alley! If you click on it and read the bands mentioned on the cover, you'll see exactly why I picked this one up. These are absolutely two of the best compilation albums I own, if only because the rest of them amount to Big Shiny Tunes 1-9, and a couple movie soundtracks.

Section 4: I love looking at me

The hotel room had two beds, there were seven of us. I said I'd be okay sleeping on the floor and loudly proclaimed that "All I need is my pillow and my Bible". I promptly returned the Bible to the drawer from whence it came, realizing that I didn't really need it.


My dad says I look like Luigi.

That's about it. I guess I don't have anything else to add either. I guess all this "gallery" realy serves to do is provide a hard copy (so to speak) of my memories. Also to showcase what a shitty photographer I am.


E-Mail: Tuominenator[at]gmail[dot]com