In a recent post, I detailed my new affinity for meat loaf as a food. It didn’t take long for me to get sick of eating it. I bought it once more after writing that post and it just became a chore eating it. Usually, if I like something, I can’t wait to eat the leftovers. With the meat loaf, I stared at it in the fridge and then began to think of reasons why I should go eat something else instead. This was obviously a sign.
Was it too much meat loaf in a short amount of time? Perhaps but I wasn’t buying it every week or anything like that. I think the takeaway point from this story is that meat loaf is something to be enjoyed only once in a while. I could eat sushi every week (and I think I do actually) and not get tired of it. I don’t think you could do that with meat loaf. Now I need to find something else to get tired of eating.
This week I saw the film World War Z, which is about a world-wide zombie apocalypse. I’ve previously stated that all these apocalyptic scenarios in movies and TV makes you think how you yourself would fare in those situations. Most people would be probably ill-equipped to survive such events, myself included. This summer, with all this extra time on my hands, I’ve started to get serious about emergency preparedness.
I don’t even have to look towards works of fiction to be inspired. Just this month, the flooding in Alberta put people in extraordinary situations where normal access to food, water, shelter, and electricity was interrupted. On a personal level, several weeks ago, a contractor in my neighbourhood damaged a water main. The damage caused the water in my building to run extremely muddy and dirty. While the problem was being fixed, I didn’t feel comfortable using the water to drink or wash with. I realized I didn’t have any other sources of water I could use in my apartment. Now I could have just gone downstairs and bought as much water as I wanted but what if the store was closed or didn’t have any water left?
To drive the point home, all water in my building is being shut off between 9am and 4pm tomorrow for some pipe repairs. For most people, they’ll be at work so this won’t even be noticed by them. I’ll be home tomorrow though, so I have to prepare. Again, I could just go downstairs and buy drinking water but I still need water to wash with tomorrow when I wake up. To that end, I’ll be filling up some large pots with water before I go to bed tonight. The tricky thing will be the toilet. Something something yellow mellow, brown flush down. Technically, I could refill the tank with my saved up water but that seems like a waste. I think I may just use the movie theatre washrooms downstairs tomorrow.
So what’s the plan going forward? Well, I’ve already looked at an emergency preparedness kit. It also seems prudent to perhaps buy a survival kit as well. I already have a hand powered flashlight but getting a manually powered radio is a good idea as well. Lastly, I need enough water to last about 48 hours and some non-perishable food. The food doesn’t need to be fancy, it could be canned goods or energy bars of some sort.
Ideally, no one should ever have to use their emergency or survival gear but it’s always good to be prepared.
So I’m currently living off the severance payment that EA gave me when they shut down the studio I worked at. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, this isn’t news to you. Essentially, EA has given me some money to go away and not work for them anymore. It’s simply business and I don’t take it personally. Did you know the same type of thing happens in professional hockey? Well not exactly the same since players are signed to guaranteed contracts and I was on salary (with no guarantee on how long the job would last). There is, however, a clause that allows teams to pay players to go away. It’s called a buyout and players are paid a portion of their entire contract to not play with their team anymore.
Today, the Philadelphia Flyers exercised their right to use a compliance buyout for goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. The Flyers had signed him to a nine-year deal just two years ago, almost to the day, for $51 million dollars. They will now pay him $23 million dollars over the next 14 years or about $1.6 million a year to not play for the Flyers. Getting close to $2 million a year to not play hockey is pretty cool. It’s often said that it’s easier to make money when you have money. I’m not sure if that fits exactly here but even getting laid off is way better when you’re a professional athlete. When you play pro sports, you can grow your millions by doing nothing. I wish someone would pay me millions to sit at home.
I was going through the photos on my cell phone when I discovered the above image. It’s a picture I took on the last day of work at PopCap when the studio got shut down. I wanted a record of what my desk looked like. I try to do this for every job I have. You spend so much time at your desk, you might as well remember what it looked like before you leave.
If you’re curious, everything you see on my desk I left. Since we had weeks of notice that the studio was going to be closed, I’d already taken home everything I wanted.
A few months ago I bought a video camera on a whim because it was on sale. Admittedly, it was a bit of an impulse buy because I had no real need for a video camera but at least I didn’t pay a whole lot of money for it. When I read the manual for the camera, I noticed it had a time-lapse feature which seemed really cool. I didn’t actually test the feature out until last week when I attempted to make a time-lapse video by pointing the camera out my balcony towards the skyline.
This was technically not my first time-lapse video since I made one a few years ago with a very low quality web cam. You can see the results here. There were numerous problems with that first video, namely due to the crappy VGA resolution and the long intervals between taking frames (five minutes). With this video, it was shot in high-definition at 720p and with only 30 seconds between frames. Filming started around 3am in the morning which meant it didn’t take very long for the sun to rise. I was initially dismayed to see it was a cloudy day as I believed a sunny day would be more pleasing to see. It turned out that the clouds made for a much more interesting time-lapse as you can see the fascinating cloud movements throughout the day. I was quite happy with how this time-lapse turned out. In this instance, better equipment did make a difference.
If I were to do this again, I think I’d stop filming some of the night-time hours. At least from the angle I was shooting at, when it gets dark, there’s no more movement to be seen so it’s useless to be recording at that time. If I had a better angle on a busy road or highway, I think that might be a good candidate for a time-lapse as well. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this one!
I don’t like to get caught up with stories about celebrities but an amazing revelation just surfaced at the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial. According to a report by CNN, Jackson went sixty days without getting any REM sleep, which is a phase of sleep that is critical to survival.
Apparently, Dr. Conrad Murray injected Jackson with a sedative that allowed him to be unconscious but was far from a state that could be considered sleep, thus the lack of the REM stage. It’s amazing that Dr. Murray decided this was a good idea. I wonder if he realized exactly what he was doing to Jackson at the time. I’m somewhat interested in this because I have weird sleeping patterns as I love to stay up late.
According to the CNN report, if this was indeed true, Michael Jackson would be the first human in recorded history to go that long without REM sleep. I am sure he holds many world records but that’s one no one wishes he had.
So the window washers are starting to clean the windows in my apartment building this week. This happens once a year in my building and like always, property management tells us to close our blinds if we don’t want dudes looking into our homes. I always keep the blinds closed in my bedroom but I leave them open in my living room. I wonder what kind of stuff window washers see when they’re doing their job.
I’m especially proud of my balcony because I clean the hell out of it a few weeks ago. I’m actually tempted to ask the window dudes how clean my balcony is compared to the rest of the building. I’d like to think I’m in the top five. I bet they don’t get asked that question very often.
I decided to go for a walk this afternoon to take advantage of the nice weather. I went uptown which is a place I don’t go too often, mostly because it’s uphill. I had a spot of lunch and then took a look at a few condo projects that are being built.
On my way back, I got thirsty so I stopped off a 7-11 for a bottle of water. For whatever reason, I decided to stand outside in front of the store while I drank some of the water. I sorta felt like Jay and Silent Bob. While I was rehydrating, some dude, who might have been homeless walked up and sat down next to me. He said hi to me and I didn’t want to be rude so I said hi back. He asked me how my day was and I said it was alright. I asked him the same question and he said was trying to find his supper and that hopefully the Lord Jesus Christ would allow that to happen. He began to talk to everyone that passed within ear shot of the store entrance, lacing his words with religious connotations. After a while, he lightly touched my leg and asked me about Jesus. I took that as my cue to leave. I bid him a good day and he returned the favour.
Last summer, I noticed that I would occasionally hear the sounds of a motor running well after 2am in the morning. It sounded like a two-stroke engine, something you’d hear from a minibike or something similar. It sounded like something that shouldn’t be regularly on the road because no car or motorcycle made a noise like that. I’d go on my balcony and then look at the surrounding streets but couldn’t see anything that might be the source of the motor. I thought that some dude was ripping around the street on a little minibike. That summer, I heard the weird noise a few more times and each time, I never saw where it was coming from.
Last week, I heard the motor again, for the first time this year. Once again, I went on my balcony to take a look. This time around, I didn’t look at streets but at the Skytrain tracks near my building. It turns out that the motor noise was coming from the diesel-powered maintenance vehicle that runs along the track when Skytrain service ends for the night and portions of the track are de-energized. I was hearing the maintenance vehicle as it passed my location as it did work on the tracks.
Solving life’s other mysteries can’t be far behind now!
I was at Safeway this afternoon and saw that a leg of lamb was on sale for more than a third off the regular price. It was too difficult to resist so I snapped up that bad boy up. As a kid, I remember listening to my grandmother talk about waiting for certain cuts of meat to go on sale. She wasn’t poor or anything, she just liked saving money (who doesn’t?). I thought it was kinda weird to be excited about meat going on sale because meat wasn’t toys. I understand now. I was genuinely excited to see the price of that hunk meat this afternoon.
I’m currently playing Dead Space 3 right now. It was the last game I got free as an EA employee before the studio closed. I finished all my other games so I decided to fire it up. It’s certainly not a bad game, quite good actually but I’m thinking about not finishing it. I’m not sure if I really enjoy survival horror that much. I spent almost every minute while playing on edge, thinking something is gonna bust out of a vent behind me, next to me, or in front of me. I’d like to know what happens in the story though. In light of that, I shamefully put the difficulty level on “casual” and have been trying to just plow through it. It’s far from easy though and I still play like every step I take is the one that will cause a bunch of freaky things to attack me. Games should be fun, not cause you stress.
I, for some reason, left my apartment door unlocked on Saturday night. Not sure how that happened. If memory serves me correct, this is only the second time this has happened. Luckily, nothing bad transpired. I am reminded of that stereotypical Canadian myth that everyone leaves their door unlocked in this country. Though, in all probability, I could leave my door unlocked several nights in a row and nothing would happen.