The Hardy Boys in Alberta

Photo: Brittney Le Blanc

I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I read a Hardy Boys book or 20 in my day. But I don’t know if I ever read The Viking Symbol Mystery, which involves a trip through the prairies, and Edmonton, to the Northwest Territories.

It would only be better if it involved a trip to Viking, Alberta.

Anybody know if this was the only mystery that took the Boys through Alberta?




Keep the Change (you filthy animal)

Ah, tipping. One of those societal items that can spark debate, anger, mistrust, and leave service staff smiling or fuming. Such a range of reactions and impact for such a small act (and sometimes a small amount of money).

Way back at some point you heard about Steve Dublanica’s “Waiter Rant,” a bestselling book about being a waiter and bringing food to others, right here at this web log.

Well, I’m not sure how the Internet tubes work, but that somehow made its way to New York City, and a senior marketing manager, and yadda, yadda, yadda, we’ve got some free books for you.

Dublanica has followed up Waiter Rant with “Keep the Change: A clueless tipper’s quest to become the guru of the gratuity” – which is all about tips, tipping, and what those on the receiving end of our tips think about us. (Heck, we’ve all worked service jobs, we know what we think of them too.) Dublanica goes through various businesses and industries; wait staff, hotel staff, mechanics, baristas, bartenders, the people cutting your hair, driving your cabs, moving and delivering your stuff, even strippers and bathroom attendants.

So, basically, once you finish the book you will be a tipping genius. (Which, one would hope, would equal the best possible service.)

But, because we always want to make sure you’re paying attention, how about you drop some great “tip” stories into the comments and I enter y’all in a draw. We’ve got 3 copies of  Keep the Change for you. And, hey, if you want to have a conversation about gratuities we’re up for that too.

Just remember to leave us a nice tip.

*I’ll pull names on Thursday afternoon, say around 4pm. You can’t have won anything from us in the last 30 days. (Not even if you slip us a $20.)

Dzanc Day

There wasn't enough room for me to accurately plot Edmonton on this map image.

First off, no, I’m not sure how to pronounce Dzanc. But we’re going to live in the world of print right now and not worry about how to pronounce things. (If you know, please let me know.)

Dzanc” is a publisher of short stories and fiction, and a monthly journal.

They also hold an annual day of creative writing workshops across America.

Why the heck would I be talking about them?

That’s a good question.

Well, Edmonton’s Jason Norman just made Dzanc Day continent-wide. (more…)

Curious book titles (and Right Said Fred)

By Little Miss Curious

edmonton, eplThis week, as I prepare to figure out which mayoral candidate would win a wet t-shirt contest, I just have one question. Who writes all these crappy relationship books?

I just picked up a book from the EPL entitled ” Men Are Like Waffles. Women Are Like Spaghetti.” (And Atkins must be rolling round in his grave.) With more than 200, 000 copies sold, however, perhaps I shouldn’t be asking who writes this junk, but who reads this stuff?

Next year I’m writing the sequel to this book, a less carby version; “Men Are Like Sausage, Women Are Like Bacon” and I expect it to be a New York Times Bestseller.

Until next week Edmonton, keep it smart, single, and sexy and don’t forget to follow the elections, even if the winner is quite obvious.

Little Miss Curious is the edmontonian’s sexiest writer (sorry Gregg Beever) and we can’t thank her enough for the Right Said Fred.

Curious: sexy books

epl, edmonton, book, oral sex, goodnight, kiss

Wait! There's a DVD?

By Little Miss Curious

Being a sexy nerd, I do admit books make the best lovers.

Here are a few I’ve been pondering over the last few days.

“Oral Sex is the New Goodnight Kiss.”

Well, apparently I’ve been ending 75% of my dates the wrong way. I have to admit, I was a little puzzled why they had such glum expressions as they walked me to the door…

And with school starting, I’m a little concerned about some of the books are children are reading, especially the new Dr. Seuss ones.

With titles such as “I Love the Nightlife,” “Show me they Honey,” and “Ice is Nice” I’m wondering whatever happened to “Sam, Sam, Sam I am…I do not like Green Eggs and Ham!”

Instead it’s more like “I love my crack, I love my ho, show me the money and I’ll give you some blow!” Awesome!

I’ve already picked up double copies for my nieces to promote a healthy street education.

Until next time Edmonton, Keep it smart single and sexy, I’m Little Miss Curious!

(Editor’s note: Probably Little Miss Curious’ first safe for work post. Don’t forget to get your dealbreakers in, because, as mentioned before, Little Miss Curious is working on a post about those.)

seuss, epl

From the snowsuits we're fairly sure they're talking about winter.

Edmonton Reads

By Alexis Kienlengeneration x

Edmonton has not one, but two representatives in the  CBC’s Canada Reads 2010 debate! The contenders were announced on Jian Ghomeshi’s show (Q) this morning.

Edmonton’s poet laureate, rapper Cadence Weapon aka Rollie Pemberton, is one of this year’s panelists. He will be debating and defending Douglas Coupland’s book “Generation X”, which he feels is representative of him, his friends and the transient nature of youth. Pemberton’s choice is the oldest book on the panel.

“Anyone can identify with the characters,” said Pemberton, when asked to defend his choice. He also added that his secret weapon is his ability to say a lot of words in a very short time period.

The other Edmonton component to this year’s race is the book “Good to a Fault”, written by Edmonton author Marina Endicott, a creative writing teacher at the University of Alberta. Endicott’s book was nominated for the 2008 Scotiabank Giller prize and was named as one of the Globe and Mail’s Top 100 books of 2008. The book was chosen as a Canada Reads pick by Simi Sara, a Vancouver based broadcaster.

This is a major coup for both Rollie and Marina! The Canada Reads debates, which will be held March 8-12, 2010 are a big driver of sales for Canadian books. Hundreds of people across the country will read the book and listen to the debates to find out which book Canadians should be reading in 2010.

The other books and panelists in the debate are:

The CBC Canada Reads site will feature a variety of podcasts, contests and information in the three months leading up to the debates.

If you’d like to stick with content closer to home, you can also participate in the Canada Reads Challenge at my site. To participate in the challenge, you sign up to read all five books before the air date of the debates.

Tune in March 8-12 to listen to Rollie and see how his choice fares.

Alexis Kienlen is an Edmonton based author, poet, fiction writer and journalist who reads too much. She’s one of the bloggers at the Canadian literary site

Peep This: Hal Niedzviecki at U of A Tonight


I am so excited for today! I haven’t been this amped for anything since August 5.

It’s Hal Niedzviecki day!

For those of you not familiar with his work, allow me to debrief you (that’s what she said).

Hal is one of my favourite writers, this terrific social critic and fiction writer from Toronto. He co-founded Broken Pencil magazine. He’s written a bunch of great books, like “Hello, I’m Special: How Individuality Became the New Conformity,” “We Want Some Too: Underground Desire and the Re-invention of Mass Culture” and “Ditch.” His newest work, “The Peep Diaries: How We’re Learning to Love Watching ourselves and Our Neighbours” is going gangbusters; he’s currently working on a documentary on the same topic and living his life online for the sake of science, via twitter, facebook, youtube, and more.  He’s even made O Magazine’s list of top 25 summer reads (something that I find deeply impressive, because I straight up love my O Magazine, people).

Anyway, Hal is here in Edmonton tonight, discussing “The Peep Diaries” at the Humanities Centre at the U of A. The last time I was this excited about being in the same room as one of my favourite Canadian media figures, I was 12 and appearing on the same episode of Edmonton Now! as Michael Slipchuk. But that’s another story entirely.

Where I’m going with all this is that I had the chance to interview Hal earlier this month after finding out he was going to be in Edmonton to promote the book. (more…)

We have a winner!

This robot likes to party on Whyte.

This robot likes to party on Whyte.

This image of Xeldon, the “Telus repairman of the future,” can be found in the window of the old Edmonton Telephone Historical Centre (Telus), on 83 Avenue, between 104 and 105 Streets.

Congratulations to Deja Springfield for being first with the answer. We’ll be by with your Greenwoods’ gift certificate, and for your wacky winner’s photo, soon.

Also fun, you can find more Xeldon at his new home, the Prince of Wales Armoury (10440 108 Avenue), where he’ll tell you about the history (and future?) of the telephone in Edmonton.

Thanks for testing your Edmonton knowledge with the edmontonian. We would have also accepted an answer of Xeldon being in “2003.”


It’s a contest. So win already.

You can win!

You can win!

It’s time to test your knowledge of Edmonton.

The reward will be the right to brag about how you know more about Edmonton then the rest of us. And there’s a $25 gift certificate from local book experts “Greenwoods’ Bookshoppe.” Books go great with sunny weekends in a lawn chair.

Ready? Then let’s do this thing!

Somewhere in the city you’ll find this fellow.

Where is he?

Where is he?

You’ve seen the robot. Now, the first person to e-mail us at and tell us where to find him wins that $25 gift certificate from Greenwoods’ Bookshoppe.

Please don’t give away the location in the comments, it’s a contest after all. But feel free to make hilarious remarks.

(In order to win you should be ready to pose for an awkward winner’s photo.)