SLEEP TIME

I got eleven hours of sleep on Friday night. It felt great. After an evening out with some people at work, I played way too much Xbox 360, causing me to get to bed around 5am. I awoke the next day around 11am because my bladder was full. After emptying it, I decided I could use another couple hours of sleep. I wound up waking up for real around 4pm.

And that’s what I had for lunch.

A FAREWELL TO A LEGEND?

Though I don’t mention it much, I am indeed a fan of the local pro ice hockey club, the Vancouver Canucks. I have been a fan since 1982. I have seen many incarnations of the team come and go. I remember their first Cup run in 1982, the heart-wrenching game 7 loss in 1994, and of course the current edition of the team.

Many players have suited up for the Canucks, but no other player has had a bigger impact on the team and the city than Trevor Linden. Along with his accomplishments on the ice, his devotion to charitable and benovelent causes off the ice have made him a beloved player in the community.

Linden is in his 19th season and questions remain as to his status as a player beyond the current season. He’ll be 38 years old in April and few players at that age play competitively in the NHL. This very well could be his last season.

Because this year could be the last, I am determined to go to the last home game of the regular season. The Canucks have struggled in their last two games, so if this continues, they won’t make the playoffs, rendering the last home game the last game period. Now Canucks tickets have been sold out for like seven seasons straight. My only recourse is to go through a ticket broker or a scalper. Ticket brokers are like a slightly higher class scalper. Things with them are a bit more legit, so I’ll probably go with them.

The only problem is that tickets in the nosebleeds currently stand at $175 per ticket for that game. It’s ridiculous actually. What’s even more ridiculous is that I’m pretty much decided to buy two of those babies. I don’t want to go alone, so I’ve decided to take my good friend Garrett along. I don’t expect him to pony up that stupid amount of cash, so it’s on me.

Is $400 too much money for two people to go to a hockey game? Hell yeah it is. It’s also a chance to be there at Linden’s last game, assuming he does retire. If he doesn’t? Well, I’ll have to do this damn thing all over again next year.

A HAIRCUT AND A VIDEO

http://www2.funnyordie.com/public/flash/fodplayer.swf?5954

Originally, this post was solely going to be about how it’s been nearly eight weeks since my last haircut. I was going to mention how Krameresque my hair had become and how I have wings on the sides that threaten to give me flight in a strong breeze.

Then I found the awesome video above, which I must warn you contains some strong language of the f-word kind. If you’re offended by such language, then read to the end of the post, close this browser window and continue on with your day. Anyways, the video contains some exclusive footage from the movie Knocked Up. The film was a hit and quite popular. While everyone knows that Vancouver native Seth Rogen was a big part of the movie’s success, did you know he wasn’t the original actor in the role? Yes, that is true! No lie!

Actor James Franco, better known for his role as Harry Osborne in the Spider-Man movies was the first actor to play the lead in Knocked Up. The video above shows some shocking footage from on the set that demonstrates why he was replaced after filming had started. Amazing stuff.

I can’t wait to get my haircut tomorrow.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

I didn’t realize it until I was in the shower tonight but my domain turned eight years old on Monday (yesterday). I was an unemployed bum on March 24, 2000 when I decided to take up some company’s offer of free domain registrations. The promotion lasted an hour and I realized just how many people could visit a web site at once. The company’s promo site slowed to a crawl and I wasn’t even sure if my registration went through. Obviously, it did though. I think I’ve told that story before.

Anyways, we sure have come a long way since the early years here at et.com. I remember our first office was in this cheap rental space in an old strip mall located in Pitt Meadows. We were between a sporting goods store and a beauty salon. Those were simpler times.

As always, I would like to thank each and every one of you for visiting this site, either on a frequent or infrequent basis. There wouldn’t be much point in me writing for this site if no one visited, so thanks for giving it purpose. If I don’t go bankrupt buying a former grow-op condo in Abbotsford, maybe I’ll get some more et.com t-shirts to give out again. Thanks for sticking with me for the last eight years.

NET WORTH

Like most people on an Easter long weekend, I calculated my net worth on Saturday. I find that as you get older, you should really find out how much you’re worth every once in a while. I wish I could say that I somehow discovered I was worth a million dollars but that wasn’t what happened.

While I wound up with a figure slightly larger than I had expected, the real reason I did the calculations was to find out what kind of mortgage I could wind up with. I wanted to know the largest amount of money that a bank/mobster would be stupid enough to give me.

Based on some really rough calculations and some online investigating, I found out that ING Direct would allow me to buy a home worth $315 000. My monthly mortgage payments would be $1608. CIBC was even more generous, allowing to me buy a home valued at $327 000. The mortgage payments here would be $1688 monthly.

For the moment, let’s not dwell on what kind of home $315 000 and $327 000 would buy me. Let’s think about my mortgage payments. $1600 to $1700 is a lot of money per month to be paying just to cover a mortgage. For a single dude like myself, that’s essentially half a paycheque gone immediately towards housing. Is that reasonable?

Of course, there’s nothing to say that I have to spend everything cent I could borrow. What if my desired home was only $250 000? Then my mortgage payments would be lower. I guess the next steps would be to find out what $250 000 to $350 000 buys me and where that is.

Hold on, because Daddy might be getting into some more debt!

FIRE AT BLACK BOX STUDIOS

I admit the title to this post is sensationalist. Technically, at no time today did any part of Black Box Studios actually catch on fire. There was, however, a real bonerfide fire in the office tower that houses Black Box studios. The fire happened below us… fourteen fours to be exact… in a second level underground parking garage… where a car caught fire. Let me start from the beginning.

Around 6pm today, we heard the sirens of emergency vehicles outside. Being downtown, this is not an uncommon occurrence, so I kinda ignored it at first. The sirens got real loud though so I noticed whatever vehicles these were had to very close by. I still didn’t get up from my desk to look outside though. One of the new guys did though and then my lead went to look. Pretty soon, everyone started looking.

Outside were already two fire engines and I could hear more vehicles coming. They had stopped outside the entrance to the underground parking garage which is surrounded by our tower, the Vancouver Sun building, and Waterfront Station. We couldn’t really see why they were here though, so most people just went back to work. About three minutes later, our building’s public address system crackled to life. A nervous voice came on to tell us that there was car on fire on P2, firefighters were on the scene, and that no one was to attempt to go down to P2.

From then on, every minute the same message was sent over the PA. This happened almost ten times. Near the end, people were sarcastically saying, “Wait, I’m still not clear which level I’m not supposed to go down to. Tell me again.”

Looking out the window, I saw some pretty casual firefighters if there was indeed a burning car in the garage. A lot of them were just standing around and one guy seemed to be filling out paperwork. Then the PA system came back on. Apparently, smoke had now been detected in our tower and they needed to check out if the source was indeed the car fire or something else. All tower occupants were to leave the building and go to the assembly area.

There was some real hesitation at first because we’ve got some deadlines to meet this week. Slowly, people realized that they probably should go, just in case. I actually went to the little boys’ room first because I didn’t know how long we’d be standing outside. When I got to the elevator area, there were people waiting for the next car. I said to everyone, “We should probably take the stairs.” Then an elevator arrived just as I finished my suggestion, so we naturally piled into the car.

The ride down to the lobby was uneventful but we did smell smoke even before the doors opened. It was unmistakable smell of burnt electronics, like when you apply too much juice to an op-amp. The smell was quite strong and it was then I realized it was probably good that we had left when we did.

After standing around for about five minutes in the cold, a group of about eight of us decided it’d be better to wait at the pub across the street. We actually sat out on the heated patio, which afforded us a great view of our building. While we drank and ate dinner, we watched a whole lot of nothing happen. The emergency vehicles eventually went away one by one.

By the time we paid our bill, it was just after 8pm. Crazily enough, out of our group of about eight, only one of us decided to go home. The rest of us went back up to 12 and continued to work. I left at 9pm after a productive hour of work, leaving my pub group behind. That’s dedication folks.

And that was my excitement for the day.

TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL

You’d think that at a video game studio, there would be a lot of people playing video games. At least for the team that I’m on, that’s really not the case. Everyone is busy with the real work of making a video game, so there’s little time to play finished games. Lunch hour provides a good opportunity but most people would rather take the full hour to eat their outside the studio, run errands, or just surf the web. Another factor is that only our Sony PS3 dev kits can play retail games unlike the Xbox 360 dev kits. Only just recently have more people (beyond the software engineers) received PS3 kits. Also factor in that most people don’t own a PS3 at home, so they won’t own PS3 games logically. All of this combines for very little game playing at work.

There are a few small exceptions and I feel lucky to be part of that. There are a group of about five of us that play Virtua Tennis 3 on my PS3 dev kit nearly every day. It’s a great game to play at work because it’s easy to pick up and be relatively decent at it. Also, one set matches last between 10 to 15 minutes at most, so a complete gaming experience can be had in a traditional “coffee break”.

Another group used to play Mario Kart in the fall but that’s stopped now. Currently, I think we’re the only people who regularly play a game during breaks. And now, knowing this, your life is complete.

VARIOUS

Last week, I mentioned that I’d be playing Rock Band with some dudes on Saturday. The video above is proof of that. I think I’m in frame for about a second and I’m playing guitar. You can’t really see John at all but he’s on bass. Ron is on drums. That’s Tim doing vocals.

Everyone in the video is employed as a software engineer at EA, except for Ron. Ron isn’t employed at all. That’s ok because he gets a lot of sleep and plays as much video games as he wants. And yes, that’s an old computer case and two phone books that Ron is sitting on.

Also, last week I mentioned I’d be bowling on Friday. Bowl I did on Friday. It was a rousing bit of five-pin bowling at the Commodore Lanes. Though I only bowled for about half an hour, it left me with aches and pains for about a day afterwards. What hurt the most was the muscle that’s just above your knee, I think it’s called the medulla cheddar-longoria. Anyways, that thing hurt like a sumbitch every time I went down some stairs. I’m ok now but you gotta stretch before ya bowl.

In other news, my web stats indicate that the other day, some one typed “erwin tang ea” into Google. I don’t know who this person was but I have no idea why they want to know about me and how I’m associated with EA. Seriously, you if ask nicely, I will just send you naked photos of myself, no need to Google them.

Last but certainly not least, did you notice the archives have been updated again? It’s super easy now that I wrote an application to automate that task. With this attention to detail, you’d expect me to give out free t-shirts or something.

DEATH ON THE DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE

It’s not every day you see a dead body but that’s exactly what I saw on Friday night. According to reports, a limousine bus struck and killed a man at Main and East Hastings just shortly before 9pm. I was on a bus that drove through that intersection just after 10:30pm.

By then, police had taped off Main, north of E. Hastings with yellow crime scene tape. Strangely, it was all motorcycle cops on scene. The bus was still parked where it had hit the man, about half way through it’s turn, right in pedestrian crosswalk area. The dead man’s body was still lying where he died. He must have died instantly or very quickly because it didn’t look like anyone had moved him. A good portion of his body was still under the bus. Someone had partially covered the deceased but I was able to see the lower half of his body.

The cops must have been waiting for traffic accident investigators to attend the scene because the body had been lying there close to two hours by the time I saw it. After my few seconds of observation, the bus continued on its way.