Yesterday, I was talking with a co-worker of mine, George, about something. Somehow, the conversation turned to the restaurant The Old Spaghetti Factory. I said the food wasn’t very good there. George, being from Toronto, hadn’t been there since he was a young teenager and his memory of it was neither pleasant nor unpleasant.

I told him I hadn’t been there in well over a decade but I was almost sure the food hadn’t gotten better. Back in day, and this is going a ways back now, I used to eat meals from a dining hall in my undergrad years at university. The dining hall used to serve spaghetti. It was very bland and very much institutionalized pasta. They wouldn’t drain the pasta all the way so there was a lot of water mixed in with the meat sauce on your plate. It was so watery that the pasta would easily swim around on the plate at the slightest touch.

One summer after either my first or second year of undergrad, I went to The Old Spaghetti Factory with some people. I ordered, strangely enough, spaghetti with meat sauce. I thought that I would be getting some excellent pasta given the restaurant’s name. When my plate of spaghetti arrived, the server put it in front of me. I looked down to see the pasta swimming in water on the plate. The action of putting it down on the table nearly caused most of my pasta to slide off the plate. Here was university dining hall pasta at nearly twice the price. It didn’t taste any better either. That was the last time I went to The Old Spaghetti Factory.

So back to the present day. George and I talked about TOSF so much, we decided to go there for dinner tonight just to see how bad it could be. We managed to convince our lead and another software engineer to come with us. Both of them also had prior knowledge of the dubious quality of TOSF but they went anyways.

We arrived at the Gastown location of TOSF a little after 7pm. It was packed with fools and tourists. We asked the host how long of a wait it would be. He said ten to fifteen minutes. We were shocked that we would have to wait for disappointment but we put down our names anyways. Ten minutes of waiting went by and not a single group got seated in that time. I made an executive decision that we weren’t going to wait for disappointment any longer! I decided to take our dinner to the Flux Bistro, one block away.

Usually Flux is a great place to eat but we all had a very average dinner. I had some sorta ostrich stir-fry and it was not good.

We have not abandoned our plans for TOSF. We will go and be disappointed in the near future.


As I am returning the video card in my new computer, that will leave my computing abilities quite limited for the next week and beyond. Luckily, I still have my old computer kicking around, so I won’t go totally without. I’ve never blogged with a Commodore 64 before but I’m gonna give it a try.

In other news, click here for a newly released video of one Nicholas White, an office worker who was trapped in a Manhattan elevator for forty hours.


I didn’t like my lunch today. I had a honey mustard chicken sub from Quiznos. I usually get the prime rib sub but today I decided to add some variety to my sub-eating. It was a poor decision. My sub turned out to be soggy for some reason. It also wasn’t very hot despite being toasted and returned to my desk in short order.

I’m going to play some Halo 3 now before I go to bed.


In mid-February I bought a new computer. With the exception of a DVD-drive and my copy of Windows XP Pro, everything came new and shiny from NCIX. Because I didn’t buy my OS from NCIX, they of course couldn’t install all the various drivers and test my new rig. In hindsight, I probably should have bought my OS from them, just for the sake of testing.

After installing XP Pro, I installed the video drivers. It was at this point that my computer crashed every single time on a cold start. XP won’t load to the desktop. Every single time I turn on my computer, I have to wait for it to crash and then hit the reset button… then it will boot up properly. That’s not really how things should work.

Also, when I installed Call of Duty 4, it would be play like a slideshow. Now my rig isn’t the fastest beast on the market but it’s still screaming fast and more than enough for CoD 4. Despite this, I got far enough into the game that I would get to this one point and it would always crash… no exceptions (there’s a software joke there). So now I couldn’t even finish the game.

Fed up with this, I formatted my OS partition on the weekend and started from scratch. Every time I installed something, I would turn my computer off and then turn it back on. I finally found out what was causing the crashes. It was the video card driver.

It’s great that I now know what’s causing my problem but I’ve yet to find a solution. I’ve tried different versions of the driver and still no joy. I’ve flashed my motherboard BIOS and that didn’t help either.

So I got a bit of a lemon on my hands. It needs a boot to the pants to just even turn on properly and when it does manage to stay on, it crashes often while playing games.

I’ve e-mailed NCIX, I wonder what they’ll say.


Parade Magazine has released their annual US salary survey. Yes, it’s in US dollars and based on US markets but it’s still quite interesting for us Canadian folks.

There are a lot of fascinating jobs and salaries listed. I picked the guy above for my post not because of how much he makes but for the fact that you can actually have a job being a competitive eater. Sure, he probably doesn’t own a brownstone on the Lower East Side, but think of it this way, he gets paid $25K a year to eat, something we pay to do.

I don’t feel superior to the people who get paid less than I do, nor do I resent the people who make more than I do. Actually, there was this one guy in the list that made over $200K as a car sales manager. When I read that, there might have been a molecule of resentment that developed in me. That’s a pretty big salary for someone who sells cars. Of course, I know nothing of what he does, so this is me pretty much making a snap judgment. Terrible me!


A completely unnecessary picture of Megan Fox

The February issue of the Journal of Family Psychology contains the results of a study which I consider to be the most important and ground-breaking in the history of our civilization. Here is an excerpt from said study:

“Women seeking a lifelong mate might do well to choose the guy a notch below them in the looks category. New research reveals couples in which the wife is better looking than her husband are more positive and supportive than other match-ups.”

More on the study can be found here. Please, for the sake of mankind, or at the very least myself, pass this article on to every single woman that you know. I personally will have a laminated fold-up copy of the study with me every single time I go to a pub, bar, dog park, or wedding reception.

What exciting times! It’s like when Archimdes figured out buoyancy!


I am moving desks at work after sitting in my current spot for over 1.5 years. I really like where I’m sitting now. It faces away from a high traffic area, so no one can see what’s on my monitor. It’s not like I have something to hide but I appreciate the privacy. I also like the amount of space I have. The amount of real estate that I have has made others enviable of my room.

The reason why we’re moving is because Black Box Studios is undergoing what some have termed a “decompression”. After growing by leaps and bounds in the last several months, the floors were crammed beyond capacity. Now that we’ve taken over all of the 16th floor and half of 15, they’ve moving people to alleviate the strain.

Some people are being moved off our floor. They’ve decided to shuffle us as a result. I’m staying on my current floor but being moved to the extreme southeast corner of the floor. I don’t like my new spot for several reasons. First, I don’t like being put into one of the farthest corners of the floor. I’m now farther away from the bathrooms and also the kitchen area. My previous spot was really close to the kitchen area which meant I knew the second the OT meals had arrived. This allowed me to bypass the inevitable lineups and got me my food faster. Second, my desk is next to a huge support column which basically reduces my free space to only my right side. I can’t put any crap to my left. Third, the column also blocks out a lot of light from reaching my desk. Now, you probably think I’d like darkness anyways for my monitor’s sake but that’s not true. Having some ambient light is nice. It’s much darker in my new spot.

My entire feature group is moving and I don’t think a single person thought the move was a good idea. I don’t like being so far from the action. Ok, thanks for listening.


Despite my previous claim to never add an external app to my Facebook profile, I’ve gone and broken my own word. Last week, I added the Translink Next Bus third-party application. This app allows you to view the next six buses arriving at any bus stop for any route. Of course, this app doesn’t do half the crap you can do in Super Poke but oh well.

It’s the most useful app I’ve seen on Facebook. Rather than have to enter my transit info on the Translink site every single time, I just have to look at my FB profile to get the next few bus times. It does, however, open up some interesting privacy issues. I’m pretty sure that everyone that visits my profile can see my Translink app which lists the location of the bus stops I use to go and come back from work. Isn’t that stalkers dream? The location and the time of when a stalkee is scheduled to leave home and work!

I still think this is an isolated case of app adding. There will continue to be no app adding in a willie-nillie fashion.


Though we’re still not sure of his playing status for next year, it was nonetheless a special night for Trevor Linden and his fans at GM Place on Saturday. My seats were fourth row, the closest I’ve ever been to ice level. I went to my first game in six years and made sure I arrived early to catch the warmup. I’ve said to many people that sometimes that warmup is the best part of going to a hockey game. It’s a great chance to see all the players closeup. If you’re interested, here’s some video from the warmup.

There were many people watching the Canucks warmup, probably more than I’ve ever seen. Also in great numbers were Linden #16 jerseys. They were worn everywhere, by people of varying ages, from children to senior citizens. The jerseys were also from different eras as well. Linden jerseys were represented from the yellow “V” days right on up to the current incarnation of the Canucks sweater.

I knew the evening was going to special when the crowd started cheering every single time Linden did anything or was on the Jumbotron (either live or in recorded video format). There was a huge ovation at the beginning when they announced his name as a starter at center. The sustained applause caused the announcer to have to wait several seconds before moving on to the next player in the lineup.

When the game started, the crowd was electrified whenever Linden touched the puck, hell they even got excited when he just went over the boards to take a shift. It appeared that the crowd wanted their collective will to get Linden a goal. He had several chances too. In a rare display of “bone tossing”, coach Alain Vigneault decided to give Linden a season high of over 18 minutes of ice-time. Linden was paired with Sedins for a while on the top line and he even played with Markus Naslund for a while.

Things really got going at the beginning of the third period. Linden began the period on the ice, ready to take the faceoff. His face appeared on the scoreboard above and the crowd began cheering again. It turned into a standing ovation. The officials refused to drop the puck and the players, on both sides, retreated from center ice to leave Linden to receive his loud ovation. Looking a little embarrassed, Linden raised his hands to acknowledge the crowd, making a full circle as to not leave out anyone. This only made the crowd cheer and applaud louder, which I did not think was possible. Again, here’s some video of the moment.

The game itself was a blowout, the Flames scoring seven goals to the Canucks’ one. Linden was on the ice, as he should have been, as the last few seconds ticked off the game clock. You won’t see many crowds cheering at the end of a 7-1 loss but this crowd didn’t really care about the score. Now most teams surround their goalie at the end of a game, but this time it was Linden who was the center of attention. After receiving greetings from his team mates, Linden noticed that the Flames were waiting for him at the other side of the ice. Led by Jarome Iginla, the Flames shook hands with Linden. After that, it was time for another circle around center ice for Linden who again graciously thanked the fans for their applause.

He then led his team off the ice, as he had done so many times in the past. There was a brief pause as the lights went down in the building as they prepared to announce the three stars of the game. The second and third stars went to the Flames, notably Iginla for the second, who received a loud cheer. The first star went to Linden of course, not for anything he did in this game, but for everything he’s done in a career that’s spanned two decades. A final first star for a player unlike the city has ever seen.

As Linden took the ice again, the crowd again got on their feet with a thunderous ovation. Slowly, Linden took a circle around the rink, again thanking the crowd for their undying support. Rarely do any players in the NHL have the special privilege of the last skate around the rink but here Linden was, lit by a single spotlight as he made his way around.

When he got to our corner, he was less than fifteen feet away from me and he appeared larger than life. He did a wave to us as he passed by. It was surreal seeing him that close and in that context. Linden didn’t linger on the ice, he did his lap and left. There’s an interesting moment that the cameras caught as he left. For a split second, you can almost see the moment he realizes this might be it, a career ending in adoration. If there one video you watch from this post, make it this one.

Linden and the team returned to the ice to give away their jerseys (as they do every year). It was generally agreed that whoever got Linden’s jersey this time around was easily the luckiest bastard in the building. In the end, some dude got his jersey and we called him a lucky bastard. After the jerseys were given away, the players came out to center ice, and thanked the crowd for their support. For the final time that night, Linden along with his team, left the ice to a loud ovation.

Linden has stated he hasn’t made any final decisions about retiring just yet. How far he is leaning either way is unknown. Whether or not he retires this summer, this was by far the most special sporting event I’ve ever attended. Outside of fried chicken, the best $129 I’ve ever spent on myself.