SO TIRED

I had a job interview today. Of course, my body also chose today to wake itself up early in the morning and then refuse to let me go back to sleep. I think I might had five hours of sleep in total. I don’t think it affected my performance too much at the interview, at least I hope it didn’t. We’ll find out soon enough.

Anyways, the interview was pleasant enough but I also found it drained a lot of energy out of me. On the way home, I feel asleep on the train. I then had a social engagement downtown this evening that I had to attend that had nothing to do with the JT and Jay-Z concert nor the fireworks. Luckily, I was able to get away before either of those events ended but I was near exhaustion by then.

Once I got home, I ate a slice of pizza and now I’m ready to crawl into bed. It’s just after midnight and this is the earliest I’ve wanted to go to bed in months. Good night folks!

TRANG-DO

Toki Fong returns with another video, this time about the martial art, Trang-Do. As with almost every video featuring Toki, this one is also politically very incorrect, which is probably why I found it really funny. I quite enjoyed the real-life scenarios Toki takes you through.

YARS’ REVENGE

For no reason whatsoever, I present to you a game play video of an Atari 2600 title that I used to play when I was a child. Yars’ Revenge was a game I did not enjoy but it turned out to be the best-selling original Atari 2600 title. I played it perhaps less than a dozen times.

CAPSIZED NOW OUT FOR XBOX 360

Well, the latest game I worked on is now out on the Xbox 360 platform. Capsized is sorta the same game that was released on iPad in March but it has different features on the console version. The control scheme is tailored to the controller and the level of detail is much higher on the Xbox.

This is the first time I’ve been able to play the game at home myself as I don’t own any Apple products. I tried the demo tonight and played through the first level. This brought back memories of last spring and early summer last year. Before actually playing the game, I went to the credits first. I think most developers do this for a game they worked on but left the company before it’s finished. I am happy to report my name is listed under “Special Thanks” which was nice of them to do. I didn’t have a whole lot to do with the console release so it was cool to see my name there still.

The video above is a review of the game from GameTrailers where it scored 8.3. Not bad I suppose.

TSA SCAN OPT OUT

Last week when I was returning to Vancouver from Las Vegas I had to clear security at the airport, which thousands of people do on a daily basis in the US. One component of the security clearance is the body scan. This is when you enter or walk through a device that attempts to detect the presence of harmful or restricted materials. It’s fairly well-known that you can opt out of the scan and get a manual search instead. For the first time since these scanners were introduced, I decided to opt out and get hand searched instead. This was something I only decided on as I was entering the security lineup. The whole opt out thing didn’t even enter my mind until that point.

After putting all my crap into the plastic bins, one of the TSA agents asked me to step into the scanner. I politely told them I was going to opt out. Apparently in some cases, people have been met with disdain from TSA agents when they ask to opt out. This was not the case with me. The TSA agent in front of me called out to her co-workers that I was opting out. This caused them to call for another TSA agent would be doing my manual search. I was politely asked to step around the body scanning machine and down to the end of the line, where normally you’d collect your stuff being x-rayed. I was told to step on comfy and soft black mat. The new TSA agent met up with me there. I initially was facing away from my belongings but he told me it’d probably be a good idea if I turned to face my stuff, just in case. I appreciated that bit of assistance. The TSA agent then described how the manual search would go. He was going to use gloved hands to search my body. On the “sensitive” areas, he’d use the back of his hand. He also told me he’d have to inspect the inside of the zipper area of my jeans. All of this seemed reasonable to me and he was professional in relaying the info. He even repeated parts of it twice to ensure I wasn’t going to be surprised by anything. Before he started, he asked me if I understood what was going to happen and even wanted to know if I would feel more comfortable having the search done in a private area. I told him no, doing the search right here was fine.

With that he asked me to hold out my arms with palms up and he began the search. He used his hands to basically feel for anything out of the ordinary that might not be part of my body. A lot of it was just what you’d expect from a police officer frisking you when you’re detained. He ran his hands up and down my legs and did the same for my chest. Did he touch the “sensitive” parts of my body? You bet he did. He felt my buttocks with the back of his hand, patting them down to see if I had anything other than a fat ass. When it came to my junk, he also used the back of his hand to feel for anything out of the ordinary. He then used his fingers to examine the flap over the zipper on my jeans. The whole thing took less than a minute to finish. My TSA agent was clinical and professional the entire time.

Once the search was done I was asked to remain in place because the TSA agent’s gloves were then taken off and then placed into a machine. This machine most likely detects explosives and probably drugs as well. I was told the machine would finish its detection sequence in less than thirty seconds and that was indeed the case. Not surprisingly, the machine came back with a negative reading and I was informed everything was done and I could collect my belongings.

My first TSA opt out experience was a pleasant one and based on this single point of data, I will continue to opt out in the future. Now there have been some very public stories about how opt out searches have turned out very bad for the traveler. This wasn’t the case with me for a few reasons. First, my TSA agent was very professional and courteous. Like I mentioned, he told me in very clear terms exactly what going to happen. During the search, I never felt like he was fondling or molesting me. Second, I’m not that sensitive when it comes to my body being searched. The dude said he was going to touch my junk with the back of his hand. So when he actually touched my junk with the back of his hand, I didn’t get all offended. If you’re going to opt out, expect to be searched and that means being touched. Third, the manual search took just fractionally longer than the body scan. I wasn’t in a hurry, so this didn’t even register as a problem for me.

Having returned, I’ve read more about the opt out searches and there’s a possibility I might have lucked out a bit. I’m lucky in that I don’t have any medical devices on my body. There have been a lot of TSA horror stories where people with various ailments get their medical devices ripped out or broken by the TSA agents. I’m also lucky that I didn’t get caught by the “retaliatory wait times”. This apparently occurs when TSA agents get annoyed at opt outs and then decide to delay the passenger as retaliation. I’ve read that opt outs are then forced to wait in a separate room for their search. TSA agents can then keep the passenger there for as long as they deem necessary.

The video above shows what an opt out search looks like. The passenger in the video is a woman so my search was slightly different because I have neither breasts nor a vagina but it was very similar.

VIP ENTERTAINMENT

So last week while I was in Las Vegas I found myself at the New York New York hotel and casino. I was just killing some time before going to bed so I decided to play some slots and have a few drinks at the many drinking establishments in the area. While I was losing at the slots I noticed a rather attractive young woman by herself wandering the floor of the casino. Now, in my experience of visiting Las Vegas, most young women aren’t by themselves usually while at a casino. Well, there are, if they are looking to provide “VIP entertainment”.

I went back to losing my money and when I looked up again she had wandered close enough for me to randomly ask her how she was doing. I immediately knew something was up when she actually looked pleased that I talked to her. We exchanged pleasantries and she sat down next to me. She asked me where I was from and I replied. She told me she had a sister who lived just over the border in Washington state. Apparently she’d love to visit Vancouver one day. I asked her if she did this full-time. She said yes and this was her third year. Then came the pitch. It was $500 an hour for some “VIP entertainment” I honestly had to fight to keep my eyes from opening wide with surprise because I wasn’t expecting a number that high. I hadn’t planned on being “entertained” at all but with that quoted price, I sure as hell wasn’t going to do anything. I suppose that might be the market rate for “VIP entertainment” in Las Vegas but I had nothing to compare it to. My entire trip, return flight and hotel, cost just over $500, was my only point of reference.

Not wanting to be rude, I politely declined her generous offer. She slipped me her card and told me to call her if I changed my mind. You can see her card above. With that she left and continued her search. I guess if I was worth a bazillion dollars, $500 wouldn’t be a lot of money for a lady like her but for me, $500 can buy a lot of video games and sashimi. Reflecting on this though, if she’s been able to do this for three years, that must mean she’s been finding people willing to pay that price. Good for her then. If any of you are heading to Las Vegas and want to indulge in some “VIP entertainment” with Ms. Taylor, I can pass along her number, you just let me know.

LAS VEGAS WEIGHT LOSS

So before my trip to Las Vegas, I jokingly thought to myself it would be pretty cool to lose weight while away. I believed this to be an amusingly goal since I wasn’t planning on doing much exercise at all during my vacation. I knew I’d probably be eating a lot of good meals and possibly indulging in some rich foods. I suppose one could strive to lose weight while in Las Vegas but I’m not sure how fun of a trip that would be.

It didn’t take long for me to get into the food. On my first night, I had dinner at the buffet at the Wynn Hotel. I ate many different things and was not shy about going for dessert. By the way, the dessert selections at the Wynn buffet is the best I’ve seen. The bread pudding is incredible.

Over the entire course of my trip, I had some fantastic meals. Some of them left me feeling full, forcing me to order a nice cup of tea to help digest before leaving the restaurant. On my last day, I even ate a burger that had three beef patties in it. I followed that lunch with a dinner of Chicken McNuggets.

When I returned, I was ready to face the consequences of my vacation. Most of you, my loyal readers, know that I’ve lost a bit of weight since the start of the summer. I’ve been happy with the weight loss and was prepared to get back on track after my indiscretions in Nevada. I got on my digital scale on Friday afternoon to see what the damage was. To my surprise, I actually weighed less than before my trip.

Before leaving, I was trying to get below the 160 lb mark which seemed like an obstacle for some reason. I’ve been tittering around this weight for weeks, without ever going below it. Now, the scale showed me just a hair above 159 lbs. I had done it, I lost weight while Las Vegas.

I attribute this result to three possible things. First, I never ate breakfast while I was there. I woke up fairly late every day and my first meal of the day was always “lunch”. I technically skipped a meal. Second, I tried really hard to have a healthy lunch every day. If memory serves me right, I had a reasonable salad for lunch every day except the last day. I made sure my salads had no fatty dressings and had no extras like bacon. Third, I’m guessing I sweated a lot of the weight off. It was extremely hot in Las Vegas during my trip and since it was a very dry heat, I couldn’t tell sometimes how much I was sweating. It’s very possible I lost mostly water weight. I’ll have to check my weight again in the next few days to see where I’m at.

Is it possible to lose some pounds while vacationing in Las Vegas? It sure is! And you don’t even have to sacrifice all your fun to do so.

I HAVE RETURNED

I arrived back in Vancouver just before 1am this early morning. I have many stories to tell but the one thing I have to mention right now is the weather. This was the first time I went to Las Vegas in the summer. As expected, it was extremely hot, with temperatures soaring to above 40 degrees Celsius outdoors. This was also my first time experiencing high temperatures with a very low humidity. I’ve felt hot and humid summer weather in places like Florida and New York, and it’s almost cliché to say but I definitely prefer the dry heat. In places like New York, you’re just dripping with your sweat in the summer time. The perspiration can’t evaporate quickly enough because the air is already so laden with moisture. So everyone walks around with this gross sticky sheen. Not so in the desert. Even though it was arguably hotter in Las Vegas than any of my New York experiences, the fact that the humidity was so low in comparison made it so much more tolerable.

I’ve been back about two hours now and I still can’t get over how humid Vancouver feels. As a point of reference, the humidity in Las Vegas right now is 15% whereas it is 84% in Vancouver. Upon returning to my apartment, it felt like I was in a sauna. It took just four days but I quickly got used to the dry desert air. Though it’s feeling a bit better now, I did wonder earlier how I’d be able to fall asleep with this muggy feeling.

I am sure it will just take a few days before it will feel normal again.