I’m not sure who else fails at this but no matter how hard I try to go to bed earlier, I never seem to be able to do so. We have a team meeting on Monday mornings and it requires me to be actually punctual and at work relatively early. Relatively early means 10am for me. I know, that is quite different than many of your work schedules. Nonetheless, I had the grand intention all weekend of getting to bed earlier on Sunday night but here I am following pretty much the same time line as I usually do.
Maybe next I should change my clocks to read an hour later or something. That won’t work because I’ll know the clocks are an hour ahead. I think I just need to have a little more self-control.
Here’s an interesting problem. The toilet in my bathroom frequently ejects some of the toilet water when it flushes. The amount of water that gets thrown out of the bowl can vary. Sometimes it can be barely a drop. Last night though, it was enough that had any of it got on my, I would have probably needed to shower afterwards. The scary thing is, that’s the water I can see with my eyes. I wonder if the toilet water is being changed into some aerosol form and floats in the air. Ewwww.
I usually put down the bowl cover before I flush but that’s a pain in the ass and obviously sometimes I forget. Is there anyway to prevent this from happening. Is there some setting I can change? I really don’t want to get a new toilet just to fix this.
Like most people, my mind sometimes wanders about, thinking about anything and everything. A few months ago, there was a night where my mind did some deep thinking. It was about midnight and I was doing my dishes because I couldn’t stand to let them sit any longer. I knew I had a few more things to do before I could go to bed so I realized it would be a fairly late night for me. As the cleansing bubbles surrounded my soiled flatware, I wondered if I would be the last person at work to go to bed that night. At the time I was still working for EA, so that meant I was wondering if out of 1200 employees, would I be the last one to go to sleep for the evening. What a strange thing to wonder about. Then I realized that every evening, without fail, someone had to have that title. Who is the person who consistently goes the bed the latest out of all those employees? Is there usually a big time gap between the dude who goes to bed last and the person who is second to last? What would all this data look like plotted in charts and graphs.
Then my steel trap of a mind figured out that every day, someone is the person who wakes up the earliest out of all those employees. Now I know I would never even come close to taking that title on any given day. Who is the person who consistently wakes up before anyone else? It’s probably a parent if I had to make a guess. Then I wondered if on any given day, does the person who wakes up first, get up before the person who goes to sleep last? Crazy I tell you.
Some people do important medical research, I wonder when people go to bed and when they wake up. That’s what I do.
Wow, I just realized my last post was my 2500th post. What a shame it was a terrible, terrible piece of writing. Well, they all can’t be good ones. If you want to read a good one, go read this one. Anyways, I’m disappointed I didn’t bring any special guests along for just an important milestone. If I had known it was my 2500 post, I woulda gotten Tom Hanks as one of my guests and Neil Young would have played two songs. Let’s see what I can do for post 3000.
Well, if you live in Vancouver you know it snowed tonight. There is, however, a 90% chance that as we all sleep tonight, magical rains will wash all the snow away. Just about every single snow storm in Vancouver happens like that. People are saying everyone should take extra time to commute tomorrow because there will be delays all over, even if you drive or if you take transit. I’m going go against that advice and leave even later in the morning. I wonder how that will work out.
I’m getting old and frail. I spent all of ten minutes outside on Monday morning and my entire top lip got wind chapped. It’s dry as a desert on my upper lip. If you could take a look at it with a microscope, you would see tiny camels and nomadic tribes living there. I still refuse to use lip balm though. Also, the people who share lip balm? Gross. Stop doing that.
I promise post 2502 will be better.
As I mentioned previously, there isn’t a Tim Hortons close to where I work. Nevertheless, in the morning at least, I’ve discovered a convenient way to get my Timmy’s fix on my way to the studio. I change trains at Granville to get to the Canada Line for my one-stop hop over to Yaletown. To do this, I pass by Vancouver Centre Mall which conveniently contains a Timmy location right next to the Canada Line station. It takes only about five minutes extra to stop off for a doughnut or a breakfast sandwich but it is so worth the additional time. Starting off the day properly with a fat-filled breakfast just can’t be beat.
I was at my local Best Buy and saw that they had a bunch of Xbox 360 games on sale for $4.99. I don’t think I’ve seen new and still-in-the-package Xbox 360 games for that price. As you can imagine, all of the games on sale for that price were all bottom of barrel as far as quality was concerned. Despite this, I picked up Turning Point: Fall of Liberty. Now I knew even before I took it to the register that this game was bad and that it received terrible reviews. Yet, I bought the game anyways. Why? First, the game is a first-person shooter and I like that genre. More importantly, every so often, I try to play a less than stellar game. The reason I do that is to remind myself separates a good game from the bad ones.
I once had a former co-worker question me why Xbox 360 game history is sporadically littered with game titles that have a critical rating of below a 7/10. He said he doesn’t bother with games unless it gets higher than a 7/10. That’s a perfectly good way to choose games and he mainly receives great game playing experiences from those good titles. For me, I like exploring some of the more poorly received titles. It gives me a chance to really see what how a bad game is presented to a user. What made the game bad? What don’t I like about it? This gives me a great opportunity to contrast it against the really good games I play. I think if you only play great games all the time, it’s possible to not know why a game is so good. The contrast and perspective I get helps me better identify the things that go into making a great game.
Though this is less common with bad games, I also try to see if there is some hidden element in some of these bad games that is surprisingly good. It’s quite possible that a team nailed it with some small part of the game. It doesn’t save the game as a whole but it’s enough to make me notice that it wasn’t a complete failure. Of course, there are some games that don’t have any redeeming qualities and it’s just bad through and through.
As you might expect, I won’t spend 60 hours on a bad game. I try to get through the entire single player portion of the game. I might go through it quicker than usual, so that I don’t waste all my time. I do attempt though, to get the full experience that the developers intended to give me. I won’t skip any cut scenes and once in a while, I’ll just stop to look at the game world. I rarely do any multiplayer on a bad game, for several reasons. First, with bad games, there are basically no players online playing the game anyways. Second, listening to 13 year olds whine on Xbox Live while playing a terrible game is not a pleasant experience.
Lastly, this may sound strange, but once I’m done with a bad game, I usually bring up the credits for the game. I know how tough it is to make a game and a lot of developers could have done a great job on the game and the title still could have turned out like crap. Reading the names of the developers is just something I do because I somewhat understand what they went through.
Next up, Catwoman!
One morning during the holiday break I received a phone call from my main bank, CIBC. It was an automated message and it informed me that they had detected some anomalies with my debit card and I should phone them right away. Given I was quite under the weather at the time, it took me a couple of hours to drag myself out of bed and make the call to a live person. When I did get through to them, they told me that somewhere where I had used my debit card, there was some funny business going on. CIBC doesn’t let you know exactly what they detected nor will they tell where the offending business is. I’m not sure what detection schemes they have in place. If I had to guess, I believe my debit card data was being cloned at some establishment when I used it there. I would also guess that it happened at a place where I swiped the card as opposed to when I used the chip portion of my card. It’s my understanding the chips on the debit cards are much more difficult to do all that crazy “hacker” stuff the kids are doing these days.
Though I was somewhat concerned, there appeared to be no odd transactions with my account and the CIBC rep told me I just had to change my PIN at any CIBC ABM. They gave me a two-hour window to change my PIN and even in my weakened state, it didn’t take me very long to limp to the nearest CIBC ATM. With my PIN changed, I proceeded as normal with my banking. I kept an eye on my account but nothing strange appeared.
This morning, I got the same automated call again. Since I had done this song and dance again, it didn’t take me very long to call up CIBC. I explained to the rep that it would be very difficult for me avoid going to the same places of business because most people are creatures of habit when it comes to shopping. We all go to the same supermarkets, shops, and restaurants time after time. I again asked if they had any info for me about the possible source of fraud. They again told me that I would not be told which business it was nor exactly what the actual problem was. I then made it clear to the rep that since I didn’t know where to stop patronizing with my card, I’d probably be getting another call in a few weeks again. The rep seemed to sympathize with my situation but there wasn’t anything else she could do for me, other than give me another two-hour window to get my PIN changed. So before I stepped into work today, I once again changed my PIN.
I fully expect to have to go through this exercise again in the near future because I have no idea which business is the evil one. I supposed I could start paying things with cash for a while but that defeats the purpose of having a debit card. I like the convenience of not needing to have cash on me all the time. I suppose I should be thankful that no one has drained my bank account but it still sucks having to change your PIN every few weeks. Has anyone else gone through something like this?
I live in the suburbs and I commute to downtown Vancouver for work. Now that I’ve been doing that again for the last several weeks, I’ve seen a few of my former co-workers who live downtown and commute to the ‘burbs for work. We pass each other on public transit, going in opposite directions. Do I feel sorry for them? I don’t actually, they get to live downtown while I just work there.
A little birdie told me today that one of my former co-workers has made his move away from the big mothership out in Burnaby. This fine gentlemen has his last day out in Burnaby on Friday and will be not half a block from where I am in Yaletown. I am super excited for him and look forward to having another lunch buddy. Another survivor makes his way back west into the promised land!
On a totally unrelated note, if you’re homeless in Japan, here’s a few things you can do.
I had a wicked case of insomnia last night. I even took a sleeping pill but it just made feel kinda of sleepy but not sleepy enough to actually fall asleep. So I just tossed and turned in bed, oblivious to how much time had passed. I learned a long time ago not to look at the clock when you can’t sleep, it just makes you more anxious. I did manage to fall asleep but I don’t know when that was. I do know that it was still somewhat dark when that happened. The next thing I remember was that my alarm was going off and it was light outside.
I wish you could predict insomnia so that you could use those lost hours more wisely. If I knew I was gonna just spend hours lying awake in bed last night, I woulda used them to play video games instead. I wonder what independently wealthy people do when they get insomnia. They don’t have to work, so do they really have to awake at a certain hour? If I was filthy rich bastard who didn’t have to work and I got insomnia, it’d totally be like, “Whoops, looks like I have insomnia, it’s time for all-night Dig Dug marathon” or “Insomnia?!?!? I wonder where I can get some fresh fried chicken at 5am in the morning”.
Damn, I kinda want to get rich just for that.
With the start of the new year, homeowners in British Columbia can now see what the government thinks their homes are worth now. This is a yearly exercise for me since becoming a homeowner and it is of great interest to see if my apartment is a dump in the provincial government’s eyes. If you’re interested, you can view assessment’s online here. If you know anyone in British Columbia, this is a great way to snoop on how much their home is worth.
This is only the third assessment my apartment has ever had, so there’s not a lot of data to go on. Between the first and second assessment, my property value went up by $25K. Between the second assessment and this latest one, it went up by another $30K. In just two years, the government thinks my apartment is now worth approx. $55K more. Keep in mind, that’s just what the government thinks it’s worth. The actual value of my apartment and all other homes is usually higher on the real estate market and that’s the number that counts.
The online assessment tool also shows you the sale prices of surrounding properties and when they were sold. This is particularly interesting for apartment owners because they can see how much units with the same floor plan have been sold for. I suppose it’s good news that every unit with my floor plan in my building and the two other buildings in the block have all sold at prices higher than what I bought my apartment for. The units that sold for the lower ranges were all on floors lower than mine. The units on the floors higher than mine have been selling for anywhere between $55K to a whopping $94K more than mine. Of course, there are a lot variables in play here. Some of those apartments might have improvements that I don’t have. I can easily see hardwood floors, an updated bathroom, and new fixtures can add value than I couldn’t offer.
In the end, these numbers are just good to know for now, until I decide to sell my apartment, which at that point, these numbers mean a whole lot more.