I am in my third day of my holidays and I have already put myself on an odd sleep schedule. I tend to go to bed at 5am or 6am in the morning and wake up around 2pm or 3pm in the afternoon. It certainly is refreshing sleep and for those days where I don’t have anything planned, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.

For all the OT I’ve done, it feels so rewarding to finally just sleep until I’m ready to wake up. It does, however, feel somewhat weird that in time I’ve been sleeping, most of the city will have woken up, gone to work, worked at their jobs, and are about ready to go home when I finally stir from my bed. Ok, it’s almost bed time for me.


Tonight, I was driving by the Real Canadian Superstore off Lougheed by the movie theatre when I noticed it was now open 24 hours a day because of the holidays. My intention was to go to the Wendy’s drive through but it was closed. Instead, I decided to pop into the Superstore to get some eats.

It turns out the Superstore is a great place to shop when there is no one there. It’s absolutely cavernous in there and you could go minutes at a time without seeing a single person. I picked up some canned soup, deli meats, and some potato chips before heading off to the check out. It’s here where the visit got a little disappointing. There was only a single line open. To make matters worse, a young lady two spots in front of me had trouble paying her $30 bill. She didn’t look homeless or destitute, her bank account just didn’t have the funds. Shouldn’t she have first checked how much money she had? Nonetheless, she had to keep removing items from her stuff to get it down to a reasonable amount.

I wonder what else is open 24 hours now?


Fair warning before this post goes any further, I’m going to get whiny in this one. So, this past Friday, Black Box had their holiday party which I was quite pleased to attend. It was a great evening, a themed evening no less, as we were transported back to old time Hollywood. The facilities crew did a great job of organizing things and really made the Commodore Ballroom look and feel like the 1930s and 1940s. I had an awesome time.

Having said that, there were prize draws and I entered my name in. You always hope to win something. Here’s just a partial list of prizes: Canucks tickets (several pairs were given away, different games too), gift certificates for good restaurants (Sutton Place hotel and Italian Kitchen), gift certificates for Future Shop, gift certificates for spas, lift tickets at Whistler, ipods, tickets to Franz Ferdinand, and tickets to Katy Perry. Pretty good eh?

My name came up in the draw. I won something. You know what I won? An orchid plant. Me and two other dudes won an orchid. We won flowers. I should be grateful that I won anything but I won a flower. I happened to be downtown this evening, so I swung by the studio to pick up my prize. Yep, there it was waiting for me. A single orchid in a planter. I didn’t drive so there was no way I could take that thing home on the bus. So I took it to my desk and just put it there. I’ll have drop by on the weekend or something when I can drive and pick it up then. A flower.


Since the beginning of the month, select Wal-Mart stores in Canada have been open 24 hours a day for the holiday shopping season. This must make sense for Wal-Mart financially as I can’t see them doing this just for the hell of it.

I went to Wal-Mart tonight because I needed to stock up on essentials. With all the OT I’d been doing, I hadn’t been there in while. I easily could have gone earlier but it’s always a madhouse at Wal-Mart, so the prospect of shopping in relative peace led to my 1am trip.

Pulling into the parking lot, I was surprised to see as many cars as I did. I was prepared to be the only one shopping but there were easily 15 fifteen cars in the lot. Granted, many of those could have been employee cars. When I walked into the store, I was greeted by a security guard which made sense since Wal-Mart probably didn’t want any 5am shenanigans going on.

At 1am, it was clear that there was a lot of re-stocking of shelves going on. Many aisles had open pallets in them, as workers were busy putting product back on the shelves. In this sense, I had to shop around this process. It wasn’t too inconvenient and I realize when a store is open around the clock, re-stocking and maintenance has to happen some time.

I quite enjoyed the rather peaceful nature of shopping in a nearly deserted Wal-Mart. Usually, this location is jammed full of riff-raff during day and that leads to massive lines at the checkout. In contrast, I was free to flitter from aisle to aisle, without the need to dodge carts and undesirables at every turn. I found myself in one particular peaceful moment as I perused the dark chocolate selection while the soothing vocals of Aaron Neville bid me a “Silent Night” over the PA system. It was then I knew Wal-Mart was onto something.

The store wasn’t exactly deserted but there sure wasn’t a whole lot of people. There was one person who I couldn’t tell if it was a man or woman. There were a few couples here and there, mostly older folks. There was one group of twenty-something dudes, they looked like they were mostly bored. There was easily more staff than shoppers on hand.

With two checkout lines, I paid for my stuff in less than a minute, which has to be a record for me at Wal-Mart. This was the most pleasant shopping experience I’ve had there. If you hate the crowds at Wal-Mart, I suggest you try shopping at the Lougheed Town Centre location well after 1am.


Well, I am tentatively on holiday until January. My work on skate 2 is essentially done. Since we’re supposed to be in stores in the third week of January, some of you can probably guess we’re either in internal EA or 1st party (Sony and Microsoft) certification. There’s a chance we’ll get kicked out of cert by Sony and/or Microsoft. That would be bad and even more bad if it was because of something I wrote. In that case, I’d have interrupt my holiday to come in and write a fix. Barring that situation, I am free until 2009!

There are dozens of things I’d like to turn my attention to. I have a stack of games, movies, and TV shows I’d like to get caught up on. Most of my clothes are dirty. The items of clothing that aren’t dirty have been worn so much, the treads on them are nearly bare. I went from playing tennis once (or more) a week to having my exercise being running up the Skytrain stairs. I’m not even sure how many friends I have left in the city. I used to do regular lunches and dinners with people I quite liked. How many of you have seen me in person in the last few months?

Despite all those worthy tasks, the most logical and sensible thing for me to do is to actually just sleep. I’m exhausted and not the exhausted that just goes away after a good night of sleep. A few weekends ago, I had the rare luxury of sleeping in. I clocked in at ten hours of sleep but I just woke up tired. I wake up tired even when I get eight hours of sleep. I’m going to need several nights, probably a week’s worth, of sustained, restful sleep to feel completely normal again. Of course since I had three Coke Zeros today, tonight might not be night one of those nights of sleep.

In any case, life returns back to normal. What the hell do you people do with all this time on your hands?


My Internet connection crapped out about half an hour ago. I’m currently typing this on my Dell Mini 9 using an unsecured wireless connection that one of my neighbours has conveniently left open. Because you should never trust an unknown wireless access point, I’m taking care not to visit sites that are require me to enter my personal info but are also not encrypted. Luckily, Blogger is one of those sites that encrypts my login info before sending it out. Oddly enough. Facebook isn’t encrypted so that means no Facebooking for me while on this connection.

Of course, it’s ok to surf other general purpose sites, other than the fact someone might know I’m visiting Digg, TSN, CNN, and Apple trailers. I sure hope my Internet comes back soon, I hate typing on this small keyboard.

Oh, totally off-topic but I picked up Wanted on Blu-ray on Tuesday. Yeah, I know someone of you may not have enjoyed it but there something to be said about seeing Angelina Jolie in high-def.


I’ve heard of dozens of little personal records that people keep. How long a person has gone without smoking. How long someone has gone without throwing up (this is a personal favourite of mine). How many cheeseburgers someone has eaten in an hour.

I had a little record going that I was quite proud of. How many years of using public transit without losing an umbrella. Over the last decade, I’ve used public transit a lot. From buses to Skytrain to commuter rail, I’ve been on them all. Living in Vancouver, you can bet I’ve gone from A to B while it was raining with umbrella in hand. In over ten years of transiting, I don’t think I’ve lost a single umbrella… until last week.

I’m not sure what happened. I was on the Skytrain and had put my umbrella underneath me near my feet, like I always do. When it was my stop, I just got and left. It wasn’t until I was on the next train on the other line that I realized I didn’t bother to pick up my umbrella. I also realized at that time, I hadn’t lost a brolly in many, many years. Now replacing that umbrella won’t be that hard but going another decade without losing one, that’ll be tougher.


I have decided I am going to sell my Nintendo Wii. The decision came to me while I was in the shower, as most decisions in my life are made. I realized that it’s been a year since I actually sat down, turned on the Wii, and actually played a game (it was Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 by the way, good job EAC!). I unplugged it about six months ago, so its been unable to tell me what updates are available and I really didn’t care. I didn’t even send away for the free Wiimote protectors.

For a gaming enthusiast like myself, it was quite telling that I hadn’t found any excuse to play Wii games in a year, yet I found time to play both PC and Xbox 360 games. I also realized that I’m just not a real Nintendo gamer. I know now that games like Left 4 Dead will never come out for a system like the Wii. Speaking of L4D, holy crap let me tell you about a campaign a buddy and I were playing this evening. We were doing “Blood Harvest” and we were along the train tracks with the wrecked rail cars. We were standing on top of one of the cars when a Tank appeared. He went up to get us, so I jumped off one side and my buddy jumped off the other. Unfortunately, that meant we were on the opposite sides of the line of cars and no way for us to easily meet up again. The Tank went after him, so he just ran like the wind, all the while I’m looking for gaps in the cars to get back on the other side. Of course, a horde of zombies came outta nowhere on my side and here I am all alone. I woulda got my ass kicked except for the fact I had one pipe bomb left and the horde ran after that. After I dealt with that, I looked back to see where my friend, Zoey, Francis, and the Tank went. They were almost a speck in the distance, they had run so far back, they actually were back at the initial safe house point. I’d never been so far separated before from my team. In all that craziness, they had managed to kill the Tank.

Wait, what was I writing about? Oh yeah, my dust covered Wii. I think I’m going to ask for $200 for the whole package, which includes the console, two Wiimotes, two Nunchuks, an extra S-video cable, and a few games. I think that’s a reasonable price. Is anyone interested?