If you’re north of the equator, you’re probably aware that the temperatures are dropping and winter is fast approaching. There was snow falling in New York this week and many parts of Canada are now below freezing at times. I’ve decided for a third year in a row to see if I can survive the entire winter without turning on the heat in my apartment. I was successful in my previous two years. I had to wear some extra layers on some nights but it wasn’t too bad at all. I attribute most of the success due to the fact that my apartment door faces the hallway heating vent. My building heats all the hallways and the vent pushes warm air into my apartment from underneath the door. If this did not happen, I don’t think I could have lasted all winter.
The heat isn’t on yet right now but luckily the lows are still a few degrees above zero. It’s not exactly toasty in my apartment but I’m still ok. I’m worried though that some weather forecasters are calling for a colder than normal winter for British Columbia. They blame it on La Nina which is totally different than El Nino for those who are keeping track at home. Will this colder winter prediction come true? If it does happen, will it force me to turn on the heat? Only time can answer those questions. I’m only doing this to save money. I pay about $23 in electricity per month year round and I’d like to keep it that way.
Among the many items of free food that Radical offers daily is a salad bar. As a dude who perpetually struggles with eating enough vegetables on a regular basis, the salad bar is something I should be definitely visiting more than say, the potato chip rack. I have to admit though, I haven’t really been eating too many salads at work. I attribute this mainly to the selection of salad dressings they have. None of them look very appetizing at all and I’m not going to just eat a bowl of raw vegetables like a bunny of sorts.
Then the genius switch turned on for me. I decide to bring in my own salad dressing. After I flirted with the idea of buying a deep fryer at Superstore, I meandered over to the salad dressing aisle and bought me a bottle of raspberry vinaigrette. That stuff is tasty. I now have about two servings of salad a day. It’s quite delicious when I eat it but I’m hungry again about a half hour later. It certainly doesn’t satisfy me like a bag of chips does. Nothing beats grease when it comes to making you feel like you’ve had something substantial.
So a few weeks ago I was at a Real Canadian Superstore to buy some groceries. This one had a particularly excellent housewares department. I was browsing their selection of small appliances when I happened upon their deep fryers. Their most simplest and basic fryer was about $20, a real good value. A more expensive fryer with a stainless steel finish and digital controls was still only around $40. I was thinking this might be an interesting item to add to my set of kitchen appliances. I could deep fry chicken wings, french fries, onion rings, and even that weird county fair stuff like deep fried Oreos and butter. I wouldn’t have to go out for chicken wings as much as I could make them more economically at home.
As I pondered the deep fried food options that would opened up to me, common sense kicked in. Buying an appliance, that if used, would guarantee an increase in my deep fried food consumption is not a good decision in terms of my overall health. At the moment, if I’m sitting at home and I crave french fries or fried chicken, I gotta get off my ass and go to a place that makes that stuff and buy it. My lazy butt is currently helping me be more healthy. If I get a deep fryer, what’s to prevent me from making a week’s worth of fried chicken in one weekend and eating it over the course of the entire week? What if I start doing experiments? I’ve always wondered how deep fried battered bacon strips would taste. Right now, it’s just something I’m mentally picturing. If I had a deep fryer, I’d probably try to make that one night. I can just see my stupid fool ass battering up strips of bacon and dipping them into that golden liquid of joy.
I quickly was jolted back into reality at the store and I decided there would be no deep fryer for me… at least for now. They also had slow cookers, maybe that’s what I should be looking into instead.
I returned home from work last evening and as I looked outside my living room windows I saw a most interesting development. Someone, in one of the apartment across from me, had decked out their patio in strings of colourful lights. I don’t want to label them definitively as Christmas lights because there’s a possibility these lights are for Diwali, the festival of lights, which is celebrated in southeast Asia. They do look suspiciously like Christmas lights though and not the traditional lanterns and oil lamps associated with Diwali. A modern take on a long celebrated festival? Perhaps. Diwali lasts five days so we’ll see if they are still up next week.
If these are indeed supposed to be Christmas lights, these will be the earliest set of lights I’ve ever seen; a week earlier than Halloween, a full two months before Christmas itself! Let’s see what happens after next week.
In the more than ten years I’ve been going to my hair cutting lady, I believe I’ve only cancelled or moved an appointment less than a dozen times. On the weekend, I got up, looked in the mirror and realized my hair had grown out of control. I’m not sure what happened but one day my hair was looking alright (not awesome either though), then the next day it looked like crap. I checked to see when I was scheduled to go in for a cut. I was booked in for the first week of November. I didn’t want to wait that long.
So today, I called to see if I could move my appointment up. Luckily they had a spot open at lunch time tomorrow. I usually go about five weeks between haircuts but something about these four weeks made my hair grow out all crazy. I think I’m going to get her to cut it a bit shorter than normal to see if that will fix things.
This week, Electronic Arts will release its one title which will make more money for the company that any other game this year. Battlefield 3 is EA’s crown jewel for 2011. They’ll put every single resource behind it to market it and support it on a global scale. So far, this is the closest they’ve come to competing with the Call of Duty juggernaut (which arrives a few weeks after BF3).
On a more local scale, I haven’t figured out how I’m going to get my copy of BF3. I haven’t paid full price for an EA game since before 2006 and I’m not about to change that even though I haven’t worked there in over a year. I usually get one of any number of people I know who still work at EA to get me EA games. The problem with BF3 is the demand is sky high. I’m almost certain the company store will institute a rationing policy where each employee will only be able to buy one copy of the game per platform. Even then, I guarantee the company store will sell out of PC and Xbox 360 copies on the first day. They might even sell out PS3 copies as well. I can almost see the lineup at the store snaking back from the lobby into the cafeteria area.
I could, of course, buy the game at full price at a retail store but that just seems wrong. I wonder if I’ll be able to resist once I see everyone online and knowing they’re playing BF3.
I’ve had a headache for most of the evening and have been feeling generally quite blah all day. I’ve been just getting over a mild cold last week, so feeling worse today was disappointing. I don’t think my feeling bad today is related to the same cold. It did get me thinking though. Once someone has a cold, what’s to prevent that person from catching another cold from a different type of cold virus? There are so many different types of cold viruses that’s impossible to gain a complete immunity to them. If that’s true, I wonder how many times I’ve actually been sick with more than one type of cold virus ravaging me.
I was feeling the effects of a cold last week but the symptoms were quite mild. My nose didn’t run at all, there was a bit of nasal congestion, and I didn’t really have a cough. Maybe that was the effects of just one virus. Or I might have had partial immunity due this particular virus’ makeup which was similar to another cold I already had before. I wish I knew the answers to that. Perhaps when you really get slammed with a cold, you’re actually fighting off multiple cold virus types.
I’m gonna go find some smart people and see if they have some answers to my questions.
As I was leaving work today I began to think about how I was going to spend the evening. Though I’d been eating alright this week, I realized I was kinda lacking in the vegetable consumption. I drew up a plan to make some roasted broccoli and cauliflower as part of dinner. I’d also have some fruit and yogurt for dessert. A healthy evening was the order for the evening. As I got onto the train for the ride home I realized I’d missed two text messages from some friends. They were at an eatery downtown and wanted to know if I could join them. I texted them back and they indicated they were still there. I exited the train at the next station and reversed my direction to get me back downtown.
About fifteen minutes later, I strolled into the place. There was five of them and I could see everyone was settling the bill.
“Whoops! I totally thought everyone was going to stick around.”
I got about ten minutes of conversation with everyone before most of the group dispersed. Luckily one of buddies was still hungry so we headed off to another place to get some food. It was there I discovered they had one pound of wings for $4. That is an excellent price for wings, especially for a place that’s downtown. To make a long story short, I wound up having two pounds of salt and pepper wings and some beer. They were really, really good. When I got home, I was too full and too tired to make vegetables. I did eat an apple though. I totally need to eat healthy for the next week now.
When I left EA last year, many of my co-workers went on to the team that was making Need For Speed The Run. The development of that game has been tough. It’s been quite a challenge for everyone on the team. Though the game is on store shelves in less than a month, some of my friends are still tweaking the game. I won’t get into the details about how crazy that is. Anyways, they’re almost there and soon they’ll be able to take a much deserved break.
The Run features actors Sean Faris and Christina Hendricks as the protagonists in the game. The trailer above shows both of them as seen in game. The demo is now out on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Considering how busy they were, I can’t believe they found time to get a demo out the door.
You guys can see the finish line, just a bit more!
I was the local market on the weekend where fruit was my primary shopping goal. I’d already picked up some grapes and a pineapple when I saw these apples sitting in the refrigeration case. The apples were in a clear plastic clam shell package, four in total. The label on the package said they were grape flavoured apples. I then looked at the price. It was just over a dollar per apple. Those were some expensive apples. They were advertised as apples that tasted like grapes though and I like grapes. Deciding to take a chance, I put a package of these apples into my basket.
Once I got them home, I noticed these were some of the finest looking apples I’d ever seen. Because they were stored in the clam shell package, they had been protected from harm all the way from the producer to the store. There was barely a blemish on any of them. I decided to do some research on these apples. It turns out the people who makes these apples bathe them in a solution that supposedly imbibes them the grape flavour. Is it wrong that I was slightly disappointed that they didn’t somehow manage to splice the DNA of an apple with the DNA of a grape to make this fruit? Anyways, when I took one of the apples out of the package, it indeed have a super strong and pleasant grape smell to it. I always wash my fruits before eating them but that caused most of the grape smell to go away. Taking my first bite, I didn’t really detect any grape flavour. What I had was a delicious and crisp apple but I think I was expecting more of a grape taste. Perhaps I was expecting too much.
I’ve had three of the four apples so far and while it wasn’t as grape-y as I though it would be, these have been some pretty good apples nonetheless. Are they worth over a dollar each? Mmmm… I’m not so sure at this point.