SUSPICIOUS

So I received in the mail today a letter from my bank, CIBC. The letter informed me that they were going to lower the interest rate for my VISA card from 20% for purchases and 22% for cash advances to 8% for both, effective April, 2013.

I was immediately skeptical of this decision. The primary function of a bank is to make money and to do so in a manner that is most efficient for the bank. I don’t begrudge them for that. Banks don’t exist to help people out or make their lives easier. That may happen as a side effect of making money but that’s not why they exist. Keeping that in mind, it seems odd they would be doing this to me. Lowering the rate, theoretically makes them less money from me.

It didn’t take long for me to realize this was CIBC’s strategy to “shake the tree” a bit. So let’s look at my VISA account. I don’t carry a monthly balance. Outside of my mortgage, I don’t have any debit. I pay off my VISA bill every month so CIBC makes no money off my balance. It’s been like that for well over five years. I guess CIBC analyzed my account and realized for the foreseeable future I wouldn’t be generating them any money through my VISA card. It didn’t matter if my interest rate was 5% or 50%. They decided to lower the rate in the hopes that I’d see the allure of cheaper credit and the lower cost of borrowing. CIBC is trying to make it seem more attractive to spend money that I don’t have. Maybe I was holding back on buying a new TV because I didn’t want to pay 20% interest but now at 8%, that’s a little more reasonable. The letter even states that with a lower rate, I can use my card “more often”. Perhaps if I use my card more, I’ll start carrying a balance month to month now.

From my point of view, I won’t turn them down. I’m glad the interest rate is much lower now. If for some reason I need to start carrying a balance, that’s money saved right there. It’s a bit of a larger safety net. I won’t, however, look at this as a green light to start making more purchases. Who wants a new TV?!!?!?!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

The date slipped by me on Sunday but this domain is now thirteen years-old. According to Wolfram Alpha, this domain has now been in existence for exactly thirteen years and three days. The Internet was a way different place in the year 2000 and I expect it to be even more different thirteen years from now. I’m sure holograms will be the next big thing.

DREAMS

I’ve been having weird dreams lately. I’ve forgotten most of them because that’s your brain’s way of not mixing up reality with dreams. This morning’s dream, however, stayed with me because it was so vivid and because I woke up so soon after the dream.

In my dream, I was checking out an apartment for whatever reason. I don’t even know why I was there. The apartment was very plain and might have been built in the 90s or something. I thought the apartment was going to be empty but it was not. Out of nowhere, a lemur appeared. It wasn’t threatening but it sure surprised me. I decided it was time to leave. As I passed by the bathroom, I noticed a dude sitting in the bathtub taking a bath. He yelled something at me and then brought up a shotgun from underneath the bath water. I kept going and was leaving through the door when some security guard appeared and stood in the doorway of the bathroom with a pistol drawn. He yelled at the bathtub guy to drop the shotgun. I didn’t stick around to find out what was gonna happen. As I was walking down the hallway, I heard more shouting and then gun shots. From the sounds, it appeared the security guard fired first. It was when I got down to the ground floor of the building I realized I wasn’t in an apartment building, I was actually at “Dr. Dre Davis Hospital”. At least that’s what the large sign said. That’s when I woke up.

My whole dream didn’t really make any sense. Dr. Dre isn’t even a real medical doctor as he’s only licensed to dispense phat beats. I don’t even know where the “Davis” part comes in. What I do know is that the dream woke me up an hour earlier than I needed to be and I couldn’t fall back asleep again. It left me feeling quite tired all evening. While entertaining, I hope I don’t dream again tonight.

SLEEPING TIME

On Friday evening I was feeling a bit tired. That’s not an unusual feeling for me at the end of the week. What was out of the ordinary was the time that I went to bed. Even though I probably could have stayed awake, I decided to crawl into bed at 11pm. It didn’t take long for me to fall asleep. I can’t remember the last time I actually slept before midnight.

I woke up around 5am. It was an odd feeling waking up at 5am since I usually go to bed at 3 or 4am on the weekends. My body was probably confused. I got up and boiled up some water and made myself a nice drink. I wasn’t wide awake yet I wasn’t feeling all that sleepy either. I decided to play a few games on my tablet in bed. An hour and a half went by quickly. In that time, the sky went from dark to light as the sun rose. I started to get sleepy again so just to make sure, I popped a couple of melatonin pills.

It was about 8am at this point and back to sleep I went. The next thing I knew the sun was bright and shining outside. It was 1pm. I felt really thirsty. I decided it was probably a good time to get up for real for the day. I’d slept for about thirteen hours in total. I felt quite refreshed on Saturday.

Perhaps I’ll to go to bed earlier once in a while.

ALMOST WHOOPS

dropped from my iPad

It might not surprise a lot of you but we have a couple of iPads lying around at work. Now I don’t consider myself an Apple expert but I used iPads all of last spring and most of last summer when I was working on Capsized+. So you’d think I’d know my way around them by now.

Just before the end of the day, I grabbed an iPad to play around with it while I waited for some people to finish discussing something so I could ask a question. This might be difficult to imagine but this was the first iPad that I had held that had a smart cover on it. The previous ones I worked with either had no cover or had custom cases around them. So here I was holding the iPad when I went to adjust my grip on the thing. The cover was unfolded from the screen so I was holding the cover with one hand and then let go of the iPad itself. Now here’s the thing I didn’t realize at the time. The smart cover is only attached to the iPad itself with some relatively weak magnet. Magnetic force is what’s holding those two things together. For some reason, I thought it was held together by mechanical means with a slot and tab type solution. Of course, I found out real quick that wasn’t the case when the iPad broke free from the cover and started to fall towards the concrete floor. Though I’m getting old and slow, I instinctively grabbed at the iPad with my free hand. Luckily, I caught the damn thing.

It was afterwards that I realized how those smart covers actually work. I feel kinda stupid for almost ruining an iPad but now I know better!

BULLETS

This evening I came home from my getting my haircut. I was starving so as I was getting off the train I was trying to decide between getting Subway or sushi. I decided Subway was going to be faster even though I think the Subway downstairs sucks. On any other day, I’d much rather give my money to the sushi place but I’m going on a tangent here.

As I walked closer to the Subway, I noticed three police officers hanging out, along with at least two Skytrain attendants and also one property security guy. Two of the police officers were on the phone, while the other was talking to the rest of the group. I usually don’t see that many people of those types all in one area. Something was up but I couldn’t tell what. They hadn’t apprehended anyone. There didn’t seem to be any property damage. Everyone was just talking, either on the phone or to each other.

I was still hungry so I just went into the Subway and ordered my sub. Once I paid for it and left, everyone was still outside. On the way up to my apartment, I checked my “go-to” Twitter account for all things emergency related. The tweet above explains why there was all this excitement.

There are worse ways to get rid of bullets and though a bit unorthodox, I’m glad they chose to give it to someone in a sorta position of authority.

THE RETURN OF JORDAN SCHLANSKY

I love it when Conan O’Brien has his associate producer, Jordan Schlansky, on his show. You can Google their previous interactions and it’s all top-notch entertainment. Jordan returns to face Conan’s inquiries about an espresso machine. A strong shot of comedy is served.

FREEZER CLEANOUT

cold and lonely

What you see above is the current contents of my freezer. Last week I decided to do a clean out despite my freezer being not even a quarter full. I had to throw away most of the items because they were nearly all beyond some reasonable best before date.

There was a package of ground beef that was probably the oldest thing in there. I believe it went into my freezer sometime in early 2010. The beef had turned somewhat gray by the time I took it out. I’m most ashamed of this item. Three years in a freezer and I didn’t even eat it. There were also some packages of partially consumed frozen vegetables. For some reason, I was eating a lot of frozen vegetables about two years ago. That was what remained. There was at least one package of pot stickers that I didn’t manage to finish off. I used to go to T&T a lot about a year and a half ago so I bought frozen Asian foods back then. This also accounted for a few packages of unfinished dumplings as well. Lastly, there was a package of risotto that I never opened. This was beyond the best before date and with my experience with food poisoning, I didn’t want to chance it.

I only kept two items from my purge. The item you see above is a package of frozen green onion pancakes. I got these recently from my mother and they are delicious! You can fry them up from frozen and they only take five minutes to make. The other item was a rack of lamb. That’s currently in fridge for defrosting and I’m gonna make some chops for dinner tomorrow night.

I’m hoping I won’t have to do a freezer purge ever again because wasting food kinda sucks.

LOTTERY POOL

So I’ve been participating in lottery pool at work for about three months or so. It’s $5 a week. I know what you’re thinking, I’m wasting $20 a month. It’s true that the odds for this particular lottery are stacked against anyone who plays. The way I look at it though, I see the $20 a month as insurance. What kind of insurance? Regret insurance. I imagined if a whole group of my co-workers won the lottery and I chose not to join in. That would kinda suck. So for $20, I get to buy peace of mind.

Interestingly, there was a bit of a hiccup with buying tickets for Friday’s draw. The person who usually buys tickets for the studio was away this week. She appointed some other dude to buy the tickets while she was gone. Usually she sends out an e-mail to the studio to remind people to get their $5 in. This new guy dropped the ball and didn’t send out the e-mail. I totally forgot about the tickets so dude went and bought tickets without everyone knowing. There were way fewer people in the pool this week. When I heard this had happened, I knew I was tempting fate. I can’t actually prove this, but I believe in the grand scheme of the universe, the second those tickets were bought without me, the people in the pool this week had a better chance of winning. It’s just how my life and luck interact. Stuff like this usually goes against me. I was thinking it would be just my luck if this was the week the numbers went their way.

Strangely enough, when I checked the winning numbers, no one in the country won the grand prize. I tempted fate and lived to waste another $5 next week. Phew!

SKATE PADDY’S DAY

Tomorrow is Skate Paddy’s Day! Every year since about 2008, the skate dev team meets for St. Patrick’s Day. Considering that the last skate game came out in 2010, the fact that everyone still meets up once a year is a testament to how tight we were as a team. To this day, it’s still the best team I’ve had the pleasure of working on.

There will be much reminiscing tomorrow evening and remembrances of better times. There also might be a bit of drinking too. To those who have left Vancouver, you will be sorely missed.