THE ECONOMY

As most of you know, the US economy is taking a big dive currently. I’m not sure if I’m happy or sad about that. On the one hand, a sagging US economy will undoubtedly lead to effects on our Canadian economy. One could easily reason that will lead to lower housing prices. On the other hand, much of my RRSPs are tangled up in mutual funds which gone down in value in the last few weeks. I now also have less buying power.

Will housing prices drop lower than my mutual funds? That is the question I need answered.

SLUMPED OVER

I was driving home from downtown Vancouver this evening. As per my usual route, I took a road that led through parts of Gastown. At one particular intersection, a police car was in one of the lanes, stopped with lights on and flashing.

As the light was red, I was able to witness what was happening. Two uniformed patrol officers had stopped their patrol vehicle next to a blue, light-duty pickup truck parked off to the side of the road. One officer was shining his light on the driver side where a young man was slumped over, looking very much unconscious. The other officer was making a very slow circle of the truck for some reason.

None of them seemed eager to tap on the driver’s window. The driver didn’t seem to have any visible injuries. It’s most likely he was just too drunk to drive home and passed out in his truck. Or, he could have been dead and that would be the more sensationalist take on it. Seeing as how none of the news media have reported anything like that, I bet he was indeed just inebriated.

BAD… JUST SO BAD

In years past I used to link to random news stories in my posts. It’s been entertaining at times, if you were here for the whole series of “wang flies” posts, you’ll know what I mean. I’ve tried to stop posting such links now because I prefer to write my own original content.

This evening though, I’ll go back to my old posting habits with the story of this unfortunate gentleman. I’ve heard of doctors cutting off the wrong arm and leg before but this… this is entirely different.

My legs are gingerly crossed as I write this.

RANDOM STATS

– I have eaten Kraft Macaroni and Cheese eight times in the last ten days and would like some more

– despite buying Rock Band 2 and Spore from the company store, I have not played either

– the last item kinda rhymed

– I ordered BBQ ribs tonight for my dinner but it never came, I had to settle for Hawaiian pizza and BBQ chicken instead

– for some reason, I want to buy a tiny laptop

– I just sneezed

– this post over at gwilli’s blog was probably one of the most interesting in a while (though not entirely food related)

– I’m probably going to be “late” for work tomorrow

ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN AND THE CASE OF THE MISSING ENGINEER

During the course of development for a game, teams will receive extra help from people parachuted in to provide extra muscle to get a title to completion. Such assistance is usually much appreciated. A few weeks ago, a new front end engineer joined our team to help our overburdened front end and interface area. Let’s call the new engineer Jim.

Jim was working with us nicely but then yesterday I realized I hadn’t seen him for a few days. I didn’t have time to think anything more of that but it did strike me as odd. Then today, Jeff, who usually sat next to Jim said, “Has anyone seen Jim? He went to get lunch a few days ago and never came back.”

That was certainly interesting. I didn’t know Jim had left under some odd circumstances. No one knew anything more than that. His jacket was still on his chair so he hadn’t taken all his stuff. I quickly fired off an e-mail to my manager who might know more. In another weird circumstance, my manager didn’t answer my e-mail but I know he read it and he answered my e-mails after that one. Strange.

Where is this guy? There is one engineer that Jim worked closely with and I’m not sure he was there when we noticed Jim was gone. I’m going to ask him tomorrow morning if Jim said to him where he was going.

ZOMBIES! BUT SERIOUSLY

Long time readers of this dog and pony show will know I harbour a deep fascination with zombie lore and the oft-discussed zombie apocalypse. With such subjects being part of pop culture, I’ve often thought about the survival aspects of these scenarios.

I’ve come to the conclusion that preparing for a zombie apocalypse is very much the same as preparing for any emergency, including those ones that are firmly grounded in reality. Consider for example what I believe you’d need to help survive world ending zombie outbreak. You’d need food, water, clothing, fortified shelter, portable power, first aid kits, portable radios, and last but not least, weapons. When looking at those items, how far-fetched is it really to have any of those things on hand right now? I would even argue having a few weapons around on an emergency basis isn’t even that bad.

So, while a lot of people think and talk about what would be required to survive a fictional disaster, how many of us really put everything into action? I admit, I haven’t. Zombies or not, I feel like I’m poorly prepared for any disaster situation. I barely have enough bottled water to last two maybe three days. I certainly don’t have enough food stocked up beyond perhaps two days.

I believe it takes some “fictional sugar” to make people think about emergency preparedness in a serious manner, then that’s ok. To that end, there’s even an organization called “Zombie Hunters” that deals with zombies in a tongue-in-cheek manner but takes emergency preparedness in a more serious tone. It’s a great way to get people to be more prepared about disasters in the real world.

In the next few weeks, I pledge to become more prepared for all situations. It may start off with just buying more bottled water and dried foods but that’s a good start.

ROCK BAND 2

In my opinion, the best party game last year was clearly Rock Band. A game that even non-gamers were willing to try, it fueled a resurgence of the music industry.

Now, not even a year later, Harmonix has returned with Rock Band 2, which promises to make us rock even harder. The game was released on Sunday and I’m waiting for the EA store to receive their shipment of RB 2.

To whet our appetites, please enjoy the video above which features “Livin’ on a Prayer” drums on expert, which really was a cheap excuse for me to get Bon Jovi music in this post.