I was at Ikea this weekend to buy a new lamp for my desk. The old lamp had a cracked base and was no longer usable. While in the lighting section, I saw these LED lights that were cycling through different colours. As I am drawn to shiny and colourful things, I immediately went over to take a look at them. They were designed for accent lighting and they came in strips of four, round pads of four, and in a flexible strip. I wasn’t sure if I knew what I’d use them for. I also couldn’t see where the packages for these lights were on the shelf. Last but not least, the store was closing. So I decided to just leave this for another day and just paid for my lamp.

After getting home, I did some research online. People were using these lights to light up dresser drawers, on the underside of glass desks, under kitchen cabinets, and mounted behind flat panel TVs. The lights all looked great but it was the TV setup that had the most relevance to me. I returned the next day to Ikea to pick up the four strip pack. It was impossible to figure out where these lights were being stored even though the Ikea web site stated there were about 50 still in stock. I asked a sales associate about these lights. It turns out these lights were stolen from the shelves so often they had to keep them in the warehouse area. The only way to get these lights is to pay first and then have your order brought to you at the pick-up counter. Oh by the way, they’re not cheap either. At $40 CDN, these are some pricey accent lights.

Anyways, with lights in hand I brought them home to mount behind my TV. After a minimum of effort and some cable management, I was able to mount all four strips behind my TV. Two strips were placed on the side and the other two on the top. The video above shows the lights cycling through all its colours. You can also make it stay on one colour. A colour wheel on the control knob gives you fine control on the what shade you want. Here’s what the back of the TV looks like now:

Your TV has entered the grid

I think it looks quite nice and I’m investigating the possibility of putting these in the kitchen for my cabinets. You can back light anything now!


It’s a long weekend in British Columbia and once again I forgot that until midweek. We have Monday off. Even though we’re in a critical phase of Prototype 2′s development there isn’t really a need for me to go work this weekend. This is amazingly refreshing for a large-scale game.

Radical is holding their company BBQ tomorrow. Everyone is meeting at Stanley Park by the beach for food, fun, and games. I bet some programmers will refuse to get into the sun. I might be one of them.

I need to go to the supermarket to get some food. I’m out of snack items. I also don’t have any cereal. I really wish I could have an Oreo right now. I’ll probably buy Nutella when I do go shopping.

I went to dinner at a restaurant along Commercial Drive this evening. I saw a lot of hipsters. It’s amazing how large their numbers are. I wish I owned a company that made thick rimmed black glasses.

I am really looking forward to chilling out this weekend. Have a good one folks!


This sounds lame but I had Nutella on toast for the first time today. It’s a shame and a surprise I waited this long to try it but it’s no surprise that I loved it. Ferrero Rocher is one of my favourite chocolates so why wouldn’t I like Nutella?

I was feeling quite hungry around 4pm today. I didn’t want something really unhealthy so I went with toast. I was just gonna put butter on it but then I saw the jar of Nutella on the shelf. Curious, I spread that goodness onto my toast. Oh boy, was that a good decision. It was damn tasty. I already know what I’m having for breakfast at work tomorrow.

Nutella should not be mistaken or confused for Vegemite. While Nutella is essentially a sweet chocolate and hazelnut spread, Vegemite is made from yeast extract and tastes bitter and salty. I’ve had both and I prefer Nutella by a wide margin.

Tomorrow, I’m gonna try something they call “mustard” on a sandwich.


On my way home this evening I had a poop emergency. I think everyone has experienced this. You just need to go right now. I’m gonna skip over many gory details for my benefit and mostly yours. What I will say is that had it not been for the fast-food restaurant bathroom that is right near my commute, several records would have been broken tonight. Fortunately for me,  other than some tense, tense moments I survived by the seat of my pants. Yes, I did just write that.

Yeah maybe some of you wouldn’t have publicly admitted you almost pooped your pants but who could possibly read this? Perhaps my friends, people who don’t even know me, former co-workers, current co-workers, my manager, my family, HR people, recruiters, and you. Meh, nothing to be ashamed about. If you want to read more about people having the same experience, I encourage you to click here and possibly here. Lastly, if you want to make a game of it, someone already beat you to it.

By the way, I feel light as a feather right now.


For the last several years a former co-worker who is also a friend of mine has been living in the same building as I am. My friend, whom I shall refer to as DeShawn, has been very serious about getting into the real estate market for the last several months. The apartment he is renting isn’t for sale, so that wasn’t an option. DeShawn was looking to stay in the neighbourhood. I, for somewhat selfish reasons, was also hoping he’d find something very close by as well. It’s been a real treat having a friend live in the same building. It reminds me of my old university dorm days, except our homes are much nicer and larger.

DeShawn an his realtor found a nice apartment that was just about perfect but it was in a bad location. It was located across the river and only accessible by a bridge. In my opinion, bridges are bad news. In the end, he came to his senses and didn’t put an offer down on that home because it would have added a major hassle to his commute twice a day. It was a smart choice. Then I noticed that the apartment above me had been recently listed on the market. I immediately told my friend about this and we were both excited about the prospect of living even closer together! We looked at the listing and were planning on going to the next open house to take a look at the place. I’ve been quite curious about the place upstairs since it was the apartment that leaked water into the ceiling of my bathroom. It was not to be unfortunately. Two days before the open house, I discovered the apartment had been removed from the listing. I did some digging around and the apartment was sold with less than a month on the market. The listing price was decent, it wasn’t a fire sale for sure. Good news for me but bad news for my friend.

DeShawn then visited some apartments in Burnaby and it looked more like he was going to leave the neighbourhood. Then on Sunday, I got a text message from him stating he had closed a deal to buy a top floor apartment in a building that’s half a block from mine. This particular development was finished a few months after mine and is right on the water. It is a brand new, one bedroom apartment with an excellent view of the river and mountains. I demanded to see the apartment, so DeShawn took me up to his future home. The timing was great since he had to go take measurements and photos of his new place. I must say it’s a very nice apartment. It has all modern furnishings, a clean layout, and as I already stated, a signature view of the river. I’m extremely excited for DeShawn, as he’ll be just half a block from me, nary a five minute walk away.

I wonder if he’ll ask me to help him move?


In a previous post, I detailed how I finally was able to see who was living in the one apartment that is across from the bank of elevators on my floor. Having put that to rest, I didn’t think I was going to write about him again. Perhaps I was wrong.

On Friday evening, I was heading out so I waited patiently for an elevator to take me down to the lobby. There was a bit of delay, so I had to wait several minutes. As I waited, I could hear that the dude in the apartment, let’s call him Rusty, was watching something on his TV. He had it on loud enough that I could easily hear the piece of entertainment he had on from the hallway. Curious, I crept closer to his door and listened more intently. I didn’t know if he was watching a movie, a TV show, or something off the web. Then I heard a male voice say, “I am Frankenstein’s monster.” I had heard that line quite recently. Was it a movie I just saw? From where? Then I heard another actor’s voice, also male but British, spouting off about genetic mutation before Rose Bryne cut him off. Yes, of course, my neighbour was watching X-Men: First Class, a superb movie and one of the best movies to come out this summer.

While that movie is indeed good, it is also a movie that is still in its theatrical run which meant my neighbour Rusty had almost assuredly procured the movie via illegal means. On one hand, I can see how convenient the situation is for him. He comes home from work, the torrent has finished dowloading, and he can enjoy a current movie in the comfort of his own home. He can pause the movie whenever he wants and doesn’t have to go anywhere to see it. Perhaps, best of all, he spends no money on it and he can watch all he wants. The flip side of course is that no one that worked on that movie will see any of Rusty’s money. He gets the entertainment for free.

Ever since I started working in the video game industry, I’ve been very cognizant about what things I torrent. I am proud to say, I have never used a torrent to downloaded a pirated game. I know first-hand how hard game developers work to get a game out the door. If I want to play a game, those people who made that game deserve to have my money; they earned it. I also very rarely torrent movies now. I certainly don’t download any movie that still is in its theatrical release. The last movie I remember getting a torrent for was a South Korean movie, mostly because I wasn’t sure if I could even get the movie here in Canada.

I’m not going to get on my soapbox and rail against movie and game piracy but I hope my neighbour Rusty knows common folk, just like him, work on some of the entertainment he enjoys.


Some of you more astute readers might have noticed that I added Google ads to portions of my blog. I don’t expect you, my loyal readers, to click on those. You’re too smart for that. I was hoping that random visitors who find this blog via searches would inadvertently click on the ads. So far, after three days, it looks like my extrapolated ad revenue for the entire rest of the year will be $0.00. Who actually clicks on ads these days?

I had dinner at Banana Leaf on Wednesday. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad meal there. Wednesday’s dinner was a large group where we all shared main courses. There wasn’t a selection that I didn’t like, everything was just damn tasty. I completely recommend the Mee Goreng and the fried rice in the pineapple boat. You cannot go wrong there.

A few weeks ago, I bought some over the counter pharmaceuticals from a drug store. The package had two blister packs which contained the pills. When I got the box home, I discovered someone had taken all the pills out of one of the blister packs. I recycled the receipt while at a mall. What’s my recourse here? I guess maybe I eat the loss.

Apparently, it’s hot anywhere in Canada that isn’t British Columbia. I don’t know how that feels. It rained today in Vancouver. Am I supposed to feel sorry for people in Ottawa who have experienced near 40 degree Celsius weather? I can imagine that might be a tad uncomfortable but you’ll get no sympathy from me.

Have a good weekend everyone!


I am not one of those people who can easily remember their dreams. I feel like I don’t dream very much at all but that’s maybe because I tend to quickly forget my dreams right after waking up. There is a scientific explanation for why dreams are difficult to remember. Last night though, I was able to remember parts of a dream.

Vivid dreams are most easily remembered but my vivid dream wasn’t about owning a real working lightsaber or having the Swedish bikini team knocking on my door for a cup of sugar. I dreamed about kittens. Yes, I am publicly admitting that as a hetero male, I had a dream about kittens. In my made up world, I was a proud new owner of a kitten. I don’t remember how I got the kitten or any details like that. In do remember, however, that my kitten was several months old, still small, but far from being an adult cat. I distinctly remember having my kitten sequestered on my couch, snuggled in a towel that I bunched up for him or her. I looked away and when I looked back, there were two kittens on the towel! The newest kitten was much smaller than the other one, several weeks old at best. I couldn’t figure out how this new one had gotten into my apartment. Rather than be filled with joy, I became immediately stressed out and worried about the situation. How was I going to take care of two kitties? Should the younger one even be away from their mother so soon? Why was my apartment so easily breached by kittens?

My alarm went off before I could get any answers. I suppose the worried frame of mind that my dream had gotten me into was the key for me remembering the whole dream. I know that kitten dream was probably caused by a conversation I had with a friend who lives in my building. He has a cat and he’s told me that while worthwhile, his cat does leave hair all over the damn place, his furniture has been scratched up, and there’s no denying cat litter is not a pleasant thing to deal with. I do enjoy cats but I also enjoy having my home the way it is right now. Maybe I’ll just skip the cats and go right to having a baby.


As one of those people blessed with a mortgage, I often realize the home I live in isn’t really mine, it belongs to the some corporation. I usually just let that thought pass but sometimes it a stark reality that hits me. When it does, I have this urge to put all my spare cash into one giant lump sum payment (sometimes called a privilege payment) towards my mortgage. I’ve done some quick calculations and I could lower my mortgage by a third if I did that. It would also leave me with pretty much no cash in any of my accounts. All I’d have left over would be some stock, mutual funds, and my RRSPs. All my money would be tied up in my home. If I needed money, it’d be pretty hard to sell off just a piece of my home for some cash. So because I’m scared, I haven’t done that.

I have, however, made one privilege payment towards my mortgage previously. It was a measly $2K. It was mostly a symbolic gesture. I made another such payment today. It was larger than $2K but not by much. I had to phone this request in. The customer service rep at the other end told me that after this payment, under the terms of my mortgage, I could only pay back a maximum of $36K towards my mortgage for the rest of this calendar year. I chuckled and told him that I would absolutely love to have that problem where I might have to exceed that limit. I wonder, who has that problem? Boo hoo, my mortgage terms only allow me to pay back $36K per year; but I want to pay more!

If any of you have run into such a financial hardship, please let me know.