HAIR LOYALTY

This year marks the tenth in which I’ve been getting my hair cut by the same person. Mary-Anne has been giving me decent looking hair since 1999. Considering the nature of my thick, coarse, and wild hair, this is a testament to her abilities.

Starting in January, she’ll be moving to another salon. It will also mark the second time I’ve followed her to another establishment. Among gentlemen, I don’t know another dude that’s been that loyal to a hair cutter. In my experience, dudes get their hair cut at the place that’s most convenient at the time with whoever is available. I guess if my hair were that manageable and malleable I might do that too. As it stands, MA knows the weirdness of my hair better than anyone does, so I return to her time and again.

Here’s to a decade of hair maintenance cycles!

I'M READY FOR WORK… IN ASIA

I’ve been on holidays since December 4 which means I’ve done a whole lot of sleeping in. Most of you know I’m a creature of the night but I’ve taken it to extreme lengths this month. For the last several days I’ve woken up close to 4pm. That would be fine and dandy if I were on say, Hong Kong time but I’m pretty sure I live in the Pacific Daylight Savings timezone.

I really need to dial in some more “conventional” sleeping times before I go back to work in two weeks.

FUN WITH NUMBERS

Just because I felt like figuratively punching myself in the junk, I re-calculated my net worth tonight. As you might recall, I did this calculation at the end of the summer when I knew I was serious about buying an apartment.

I’m not exactly sure about the current value of one of my RRSPs but roughly, I am worth about $2000 less than I was at the end of those carefree summer days, when the air was sweet and warm. That may not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things but consider this, at the end of the summer, all my EA stock was worth approximately $8700. All that stock is now worth about $3000 (which includes additional shares I received since my last calculation). The losses on the RRSPs, I can take, they weren’t as drastic, plus I’ve already reaped the benefits of the tax breaks. The stock on the other hand, that’s a difficult one to accept. My EA stock is a mix of outright stock awards and employee purchase plan stocks. The shares from the awards will always make me money, they’re pure profit because I didn’t have to buy them, they were just given to me. Yes, it would have been better to sell them at $40 USD instead of the $15 USD now but I can’t control that. The ESPP shares make me sad. Because I had to purchase them (albeit at a discount), they are all underwater now. If I sell any of those, I lose money on every single one of them. Ideally, I’d hold onto them until they’re above water but if I need to money for a down payment, what am I to do?

Had I sold all my shares at the end of August, I’d be doing awesome right now. The only thing that makes me feel somewhat better is that though I’m worth $2000 less, aparment prices have dropped much more than that. In the end, will that matter more? I hope so.

CLARIFICATION

I should be four plates into the buffet at the Bellagio right now but I just wanted to clarify something. Numerous news stories emerged today about the studio I work at. Much to my chagrin, many of them are stating that Black Box is closing down and we’re all laid off. This is not true. While there maybe layoffs for some teams, the studio is simply moving to Burnaby. I’ll have a lot more to write about that later.

Black Box will still exist as an entity within the EA Games label. We will be sharing space with EA Canada which are under the EA Sports label (for the most part). I will still continue to work on the #1 skateboarding game franchise in the industry… unless I get laid off… which I don’t think will happen.

VEGAS BOUND

I am heading to Las Vegas this afternoon. From the picture above, you can see what awaits me. Las Vegas had the biggest snow storm in their area in several decades this week. Flights were canceled coming into and out of McCarran International Airport on Wednesday. It’s a good thing I didn’t decide to leave then. McCarran has no snow removal equipment, which I guess is something they normally wouldn’t need. Flights resumed as of Thursday. Unfortunately, the weather left some of my grad school buddies stranded on their way to Vegas. I know one dude got left in Phoenix for a night and another one actually had to return to Vancouver.

Looking at the ten day forecast, temperatures will flirt with freezing throughout the weekend. I am seriously considering bringing my winter coat with me to Vegas. I’m for sure bringing a scarf. I’ll be back on Tuesday evening. Wish me warmth!

SKATE 2 OPENING CINEMATIC

The above video is the opening cinematic for skate 2, the game I’ve been working on for the last few months. It was shot over a period of two to three days several months ago in Southern California. The prison setting is because your character is getting out of jail. The game starts once you’re free. As you can imagine, most of the people you see in the cinematic are pro skateboarders.

#16 TO THE RAFTERS

Tonight the Vancouver Canucks organization will honour arguably the best all-around player to have ever worn a Canucks jersey. Trevor Linden will have his #16 retired and a banner will be lifted to lofty heights at GM Place. Since 1988 no other player has worn #16 in Vancouver and after tonight, no other player will get that chance.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I don’t conceal my support for Linden. I am an ethusiastic fan of Trevor Linden, the person, who just happened to have a pretty good hockey career. I made posts about his last NHL game and about his retirement annoucement.

I understand that if you’re not from Vancouver or only have lived here for just a few years, you probably are wondering why there’s so much whoop-dee-do for a pro athlete who managed to make millions playing a sport. To describe Linden as such neglects the much larger aspects of who he is. For the past twenty years, he’s been a tireless worker in the Vancouver community, helping charitable organizations and raising money for good causes. His work with sick children is the stuff of legends here in British Columbia. I can say without exaggeration that you could find hundreds of families who were deeply moved by the work Linden has done. Whether that work included raising money for a hospice or just talking to a terminally ill child for half an hour, you’ll find similar stories of his generousity. I’m afraid my words cannot do justice in describing what he’s done for the province. If you watch this video, you’ll get to see what Linden meant to just a single family.

In this day and age where pro athletes get too much attention and ultimately too much adoration for the wrong reasons, I am so pleased that we can still honour decent individuals such as Linden. He deserves every accolade and every standing ovation that he will undoubtedly get tonight. Such is the rare time when we get to collectively thank the great Trevor Linden.

SAVE SARAH CONNOR

UPDATE 2:

It’s over. The show has been canceled. The disappointment is huge. I’m still not sure why Dollhouse got picked up and Terminator got the axe. Fox has again made a baffling network decision. It appears the most important requirement of being a Fox network executive is to have a lack of common sense or at the very least transparency with the public.

UPDATE
:

Do you want to save T:SCC? Things are looking grim now, even after a spectacular season finale. These are things you can do. Do it now! Tell your friends! Contact the people and companies below. The info came from the Fox Terminator wiki.

FOX: askfox@fox.com
Warner Bros: Scott.Rowe@Warnerbros.com

Preston Beckman of fox, the physical mailing address for Fox is:

Preston Beckman
10201 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035

preston.beckman@fox.com

Ph: 310-369-1000(confirmed to go to Fox broadcasting)
Fax: 310-369-1283

FOX Broadcasting
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
10201 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035

WB
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
4000 Warner Blvd
Burbank CA 91522

1-818-954-6000(warner Bros)
1-818-954-7057(TSCC office phone number)

make sure you sign the petition:
http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?scc2009&5701

and makes sure you check this website for updates:
http://terminatorwiki.fox.com/?t=anon

finally please click this link and vote for TSCC

http://ca.eonline.com/uberblog/watch_with_kristin/b117753_save_one_show_help_your_fave_see.html

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My favourite new TV show from last season was a little production called Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles from the Fox network. Given a shortened nine episode run, it was the highest rated new scripted TV show last year. Greenlit for a second season, it’s currently just past the halfway point of a 22 show run this year.

The show smartly ignores the events of third Terminator film, which in my mind, was a disappointing piece of cinema and this is coming from someone who is a huge fan of the Terminator mythos. Chronicles picks up the story when the iconic character of John Connor is a teenager in high school, now several years past the events of T2. His mother, Sarah, is still protective of her son as ever and together they have a disfunctional mother-son relationship. Rounding out the main characters are Cameron, a sexy female Terminator sent back in time by John to help protect his younger self, and Derek Reese, John’s uncle, who was also sent back in time to aid his newphew. Together, they attempt to achieve two goals: prevent Skynet from being built (thus preventing the war with intelligent machines) and keeping John alive (so that if they fail their first goal, he can lead the human resistance in the future).

Chronicles takes a few liberties with time travel compared to the films. In the films, sending back a Terminator or a human back in time was a very rare event. Usually, it was done in pairs: one bad guy and then one good guy. In the show, we find out that Skynet sent dozens of Terminators to many different years and the human resistance has followed suit. Also, in the films, the targets were always either John and/or Sarah. In the series, we discover Skynet wants a whole bunch of people dead.

I’ve developed into a big fan of show for several reasons. First, it’s just cool to see more Terminator fiction. It’s an awesome premise that still fascinates me to this day. Second, I enjoy the action the show delivers. It’s always fun to watch two Terminators fight it out. Last but certainly not least, the show is well-written. For all the action in the series, it’s the smaller moments that stand out in my mind. One example was from last season, where Derek takes John to a park where they have an ice cream on John’s birthday. As they talk, they watch two little boys, brothers, play ball. After a few minutes, John realizes one of the boys in fact, Derek, before he goes back in time. The other younger boy was no less than Kyle, John’s father, whom he had not seen before in his entire life. For over two decades, I wondered what the moment it would be like when John saw his father for the first time. The show answered that question for me.

So why do we need to save Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles? Starting in the new year, February 13 to be exact, Fox is moving Chronicles to Friday nights. History shows that Friday night is where TV shows go to die. There has been exactly one show that ever truly succeeded on a Friday night and that show was called The X-Files. As a Canadian, I’m not sure what I can do to support the show. I supposed I could buy the episodes on iTunes. Or I could buy season one on Blu-ray. That sure would be a good excuse to buy another Blu-ray disc. Perhaps, I could do an old-fashioned letter writing campaign. If you’re an American fan, you’ve got more options. You can do the above, plus your viewership counts, just watch the damn show on your TV. Also, you’ve got enviable access to hulu.com where you can watch the episodes for free and Fox does notice how many people watch on that site. You can also watch every episode for free on the official Fox Chronicles web site.

If you’re a fan already, keep watching on February 13. If you’re not a fan and are interested, I’ll even mail you a DVD with all the episodes so far on it. Please help me save this show!

FOR SALE: WALL-E

Due to a somewhat unfortunate time paradox, I find myself with two copies of Wall-E on Blu-ray. I want to sell one of the copies. My asking price is $20 and I’ll throw in two Cineplex movie passes. If you’re into movies, this is a great deal. Even if you don’t own a Blu-ray player, the two free movie passes already saves you money! Let me know if you want in on this FANTASTIC DEAL OF THE CENTURY!!!

Offer not valid in Quebec.