The elevator is a great source of consternation for some people and you can count me in as one of those. Since I live in high-rise apartment building, using the elevator is a common occurrence for me. At a minimum, I use the elevator at least twice a day. Absurdly, we only have two elevators in my buildings for over 30 floors. Sometimes you can be waiting for an elevator for a long time and once you get one, your ride up or down might be lengthy as it picks up or lets people off.

You can gain precious seconds during the elevator trip, however, if someone uses the “door close” button once someone has left the elevator or has entered the elevator. The elevator is programmed to keep the door open for a generous amount of time to allow 99% of users to enter or leave before it needs to close. All this extra time is wasted time unfortunately as everyone in the elevator car just waits for the doors to close. Thankfully, most people are courteous enough to press the “door close” button to move things along. Here’s where things get me a bit annoyed.

I notice that people sometimes, by way of proximity, are the defacto “door close” button operator. As the elevator goes up or down, people are being let off or getting on. This single person then pushes the “door close” button to get the elevator moving more quickly. It has come to my attention some of these people have no idea how an elevator works. There is a sensor that detects if something or someone has broken an invisible plane that is located at the threshold of the elevator door. If the detector sense a break in the plane, the “door close” button doesn’t work. Numerous times I’ve seen people hit the button way too early as people are still tripping the sensor. We then just sit there with the damn door open for several seconds, as if the button wasn’t pressed at all. What’s worse is that these people don’t understand what just happened and they don’t even bother pressing the button a second time. Why don’t these people hit the button a second time? Why would they just sit there, dripping in their failure, and not try to fix things?

Every time I see this I’m tempted to tell them they pressed the button way too early and they should try again but I don’t. I just look at them with disappointment. I wish I could say something but I would look anal retentive. Am making a big deal out of this when this is something minor? Oh probably but I’ve seen this way too many times for me not to mention it.


So as many of you know I live in/over an integrated transit, housing, and retail hub. When the retail portion of the complex started to open up, I knew businesses would have to be smart if they were to survive. Though the area is changing, the majority of people moving through the complex is still mainly blue-collar folks. There’s also the consideration that people are just moving through that station to get to their final destination. Keeping factors like that in mind, I knew the more successful tenants would sell or offer things that have a cheap per item cost, the items would be required by almost everyone, and would not take long for them to buy. That led me to believe any shops that sold food that was relatively cheap and that could be made fast would probably be the most successful businesses. Some brave business owners tried something else and they have suffered the consequences. Three businesses have been forced to close since last November.

The first to go was a traditional smoke shop. This place sold tobacco, pipes, cigarettes, cigars, and other accessories related to smoking tobacco. It did not cater to the marijuana crowd and did not have any bongs or vaporizers. If I recall correctly, this business did not even last two months. Society is much healthier than it was in previous decades and smoking tobacco isn’t nearly as popular as it was before. The people who still smoke would just get their smokes at convenience stores. I think I might have seen one person open the door to this place and it possibly could have been just an employee. One morning on my way to work, I could see people inside taking apart the store. It was empty the next day.

The second business to go was a hair salon. Previous to that, I saw workers getting the store ready over a course of a month. There was drywall work, adding of walls, and electrical stuff. The chairs were delivered one day and they seemed ready to go. This salon never seemed really that busy. I think I saw at most two stylists in there at once. I’m hesitant to say this but the place did not give off a cool or hip vibe. I know that a cool vibe doesn’t guarantee a good haircut or style but when we’re talking about a salon, image does come into play. It looked like a very sterile and boring place to get your hair done. I’m also fairly certain that none of the stylists brought any old clients to this place. I believe it lasted about a month. One morning I walked past the salon and there were a ton of notices on the door. They had not paid their rent, ever I think and the landlord had put their own lock on the door. One of the notices said the landlord would and could take all their equipment and sell it to get their rent money. In fact, that’s what happened.

The third business to go was an Indian food takeout place called Rasoee. Now this is an interesting situation. I believe the entire chain of these restaurants went out of business rather than this being a single failure. Their main web site is now gone and all their social media went dark around late November or early December. All their locations, not just the one downstairs from me, have been closed. Normally they’d be open until 9pm but I remember seeing them being closed up even before 7pm in the last little while. I just thought it was because most of their business was for lunch. Then just last week, notices went up on their door. They had not been paying rent for weeks.

Unfortunately, there might be one or two other businesses that are teetering on the edge. They might be able to pull through but we’ll see. In the meantime, it seems like the most successful businesses are the ones that follow the fast, cheap, and food strategy. The Safeway is doing well. Both the pizza per slice places are doing great. The Starbucks is Starbucks so no big surprise there. The dollar store is always busy because people love cheap crap.

I wonder if it’s time for a McDonald’s.


I don’t listen to the music of Ben Haggerty but the above tweet from the rapper sure eloquently describes the experience of having a canker sore. I think I’ve written about them before but I used to get canker sores quite frequently when I was in my late teens and early 20s. I used to just describe them as plain painful, like having an open wound that felt like a needle being jabbed into your mouth anytime anything touched it. Spirit hindering though? Yeah, that’s another apt way of putting it. It takes out all the joy of eating because anytime a piece of food touch a canker sore it’s just so painful.


Every year I look forward to the day where I can retire the winter coat to the closet until next winter. You never know beforehand that a particular day is the last day you’ll wear the winter coat until it gets cold again. One day it’s on and then a day arrives where it’s too warm to wear. It then never gets cold enough for you to need it.

I thought last week I had come to that point for this season, as a stretch of dry and sunny weather visited upon Vancouver. It also being April, gave me false hope that perhaps the winter cold had retreated. I was wrong. The rains came and not only did it rain heavily, the temperatures dropped as well. It was not a difficult decision to wear my heavy furs at the beginning of the week.

The weather calls for lows as far down as three degrees Celsius in the next seven days so perhaps winter coat retirement isn’t in the cards just yet. I’ll be waiting though.


About two Sundays ago I was just sitting on my ass doing a whole lot of nothing when I decided I should probably salvage the day and do something productive. I hadn’t done my taxes yet but all my documents and receipts were available to me so there wasn’t really any reason to delay it. Since I also was expecting a refund, waiting just meant I was just delaying getting that money to me. It took about an hour but it was pretty straightforward as I was using TurboTax. Whoa, this is scary but I think this is the seventeenth straight year that I’ve used software to help me do my taxes. I’ve never done a tax return by hand ever.

Anyways, my refund was deposited into my bank account yesterday. It was almost a thousand dollars more than my average refund amount. This was mostly because I accidentally bought an extra RRSP contribution near the end of the tax year. In any case, I now am wondering what to do with this money. I’m leaning heavily towards putting towards my mortgage. Other plans could include buying more RRSPs for this tax year. Perhaps this could be used for a vacation? There’s always the stereotypical hookers and cocaine but that is so out of style these days.

This is a good problem to have. I shall keep thinking of ideas.


So I take the Skytrain to work every morning. The nature of the automated transit system and its frequency means that it’s basically impossible for any one train to arrive at the exact time every day. If even one person hold the door open for an extra second could mean a slightly altered schedule.

Where I catch the train going westbound, the trains come from two routes. Along the Expo line, the trains will come from the lovely community of Surrey, which is separated from the rest of Vancouver by water. In a way, Surrey is a lot like Manhattan in Escape From New York where New York has been turned into a maximum security prison island filled with degenerate criminals. Along with the fine citizens from Surrey, trains from there will also be considerably more crowded than from the other route.

The other trains come from Burnaby along the Millennium Line. These trains are way less crowded since people going westbound would have taken this route going the other way, instead of looping around to my station. These are the trains I look to take every morning because there are hardly any people on them.

Now I leave my apartment every morning at approximately the same time, with a variance of perhaps plus or minus five minutes. The trains at that time of day come with the frequency of anything between twenty seconds to perhaps three minutes. No matter what time I leave, it seems like nine times out of ten, the train I see pulling away from the station as I walk towards the platform is the empty one from Burnaby. My luck doesn’t run out there as invariably, the next train to arrive will be a super crowded one from Surrey.

I can’t seem to figure out why this seems to happen so frequently. Given the variability in the time I leave my apartment and the variability in the train arrival times, there should be more randomness in which type of train I see first.

Sometimes I try to slap luck in the face and let the first train go by without getting on. Almost invariably, the second train will be an almost empty one. Why? Why does this happen?


I started feeling a bit under the weather this afternoon. It began with a general malaise which turned into a bit of an aching of muscles all over. Then the headache started which hasn’t let up since. I took an Advil about an hour ago so we’ll see if that helps. I’ve felt worse but this doesn’t feel like a cold or a flu, well maybe the flu.

I wonder how I’ll feel in the morning. I hope a good night of sleep will chase this away.


So my apartment has a fairly large balcony and over the fall and winter, it has progressively gotten dirtier and dirtier. It’s amazing how dirty it can be just from the dust that the wind deposits on it. Cleaning it should be a simple mop and bucket procedure, much like a tiled floor, but alas, it is not. The problem is that while my balcony has a drain, the drain doesn’t go to a very smart place. You’d think the drain goes to a pipe and that pipe runs along side the building to the ground or something. It does not. The drainage pipe isn’t even that long and extends just over the edge of the balcony. So if I were to dump a bucket of water on my balcony, all the water would go over the edge and possibly down to the balcony below and mostly to the sidewalk.

It’s because of this that my strata has forbidden people to use a mop and a bucket of water to wash their balconies. The amount of water a person would normally use would soak people below. We’ve been instructed to use a damp mop and not pour water from the bucket. This is stupid. It’s like requiring us to use a moist toilette to clean the balcony. That just won’t cut it especially where the dirt has turned my balcony surface black in some areas.

Over the winter though, I thought of an idea. I could use a heavy rainstorm to mask the water falling from my balcony. That way, people won’t know where the water is coming from exactly. Ok, so it’s not a perfect plan because the amount of water coming from my balcony is a tad larger than say raindrops but it’s better than nothing. This week it got warm enough to be comfortably outside and it also started raining heavily today. The rain is supposed to continue all weekend so I think this is my chance.

Apartment living I tell ya!


As a testament to the enduring class and absolute professionalism that Conan O’Brien possesses, the late night host took time from his own show to congratulate Jimmy Fallon on getting The Tonight Show in 2014. I apologize for putting up two Conan videos in two days but this was a truly kind gesture on his part and I wanted to show that here.

I have a lot more to say about how all this went down but I need considerable more time to write a proper post. This won’t surprise my long-time readers but guess what? I still think Jay Leno is a dick and he continues to be a dick.