So when Target announced they were coming to Canada, it was big news to a lot of people. The stores finally opened and it seems like there was some disappointment. My mom thinks that Target isn’t better than Wal-Mart. Well, about two weeks ago I finally went to my first Target store. I bought a bathmat and two packages of frozen fruit (raspberries and blueberries).

The bathmat was nice but it wasn’t cheap either. I was most impressed with the frozen fruit. They were on sale for $3 each which is a steal. Frozen fruit is expensive normally and a package that size usually goes for $5 and up at any supermarket. I was more excited to get the fruit than my bathmat. I didn’t spend enough time at Target to get a full assessment of the store. The impression I got is that it probably is very much like other stores in many areas but perhaps better than others in a few select categories (like frozen fruit). Could Target be the ultimate source of men’s underwear?


At the end of the summer I folded up my patio furniture, namely two chairs and a table, and slipped some fancy black garbage bags on them. This was to protect the furniture from the elements and the harsh winter weather. The bags fit the furniture quite well as the rectangular shape of all the items matched the shape of the bags.

For several months the bags did their job as the wind, rain, and cold set upon my balcony. As the wind blew, I would always hear the plastic of the bags rustling. It became a familiar sound at night. Well, several weeks ago, it became very, very windy. I noticed during the wind storm that I couldn’t hear the rustling of the garbage bags anymore.

The next morning, I went out onto my balcony and discovered all three bags had been blown off the furniture. They were nowhere to be seen and I assume they had escaped to the sky. I very impressed by the power of the wind. The bags were actually anchored in place by the weight of each piece of furniture so it must have been a fierce wind.

I wonder where those bags went.


So India made its own version of the series 24, which originally starred Kiefer Sutherland. Also entitled 24, this version stars Indian superstar Anil Kapoor in the role of Jack Bauer (though that’s not the character name). Kapoor and Sutherland both appeared in season eight of the US version.

If the Indian version had subtitles or something, I might have even considered watching it. Their first season concluded last month. Sutherland’s version of 24 returns to the airwaves this May with 24: Live Another Day. That Kiefer, he’s a good Canadian kid. Thumbs up!


I never made it to work on Friday. I woke up with my alarm, got up, and made a decision I just wasn’t feeling good enough to be useful at work. I called in sick and just slept for the rest of the morning. I didn’t leave my apartment all day nor evening either as I had enough food at my place to sustain me. In fact, between Thursday evening and Saturday evening, I was inside my apartment the entire time.

I feel better than I did on Friday but I’m still not 100%. I still have a mild cough and very little congestion now but the most difficult issue is my body’s inability to regulate its temperature. I’ve had chills all week. On Friday evening, I wore a down-filled jacket while inside with the heat on and only then did I feel comfortable. Normally, I’d be sweating like that. This evening, I’ve been able to shed the jacket while inside and still feel ok.

This whole incident reminds me of the great illness of March 2005. For a whole month, I was incapacitated by a cough and extremely low energy. That whole month sucked. I saw about three different doctors in that time but they couldn’t find anything specific. It took a long time for me to get healthy again. I hope that’s not the case here. I am optimistic that I’ll be ok to go to work tomorrow.


So whatever illness I have is kicking my ass. After feeling better for about a day and a half, I regressed significantly. After feeling like crap last night, I somehow managed to wake up after only five hours of sleep. I woke up hungry and thirsty. After eating cereal out of the box and drinking some water, I laid in bed until I could fall asleep again.

When my alarm went off, I felt terrible. The aches that I felt on day one were back. I was also congested. Not wanting to blow too many sick days in the first month of the year, I dragged my ass to work. Was that a wise decision? Maybe not. Oh well.

People told me I looked green and that’s the way I felt. I managed to survive enough of the day to go home about two hours early. I came home, ate some food, and tried to nap. I’ve been feeling awful all evening. It’s almost like I caught a second illness while recovering from the first. I’ve also been eating a lot. My strategy is to give my body a lot of fuel to fight this thing. Just this evening, I’ve had a bowl of udon, tuna sashimi, a salad, and some dumplings.

I’m not sure if I’ll be well enough to go to work tomorrow.


I managed to drag my sickly ass to work this morning. Wasn’t feeling too great at first but things turned around at lunch. A nice bowl of steamy pho sure hit the spot. I was fine the rest of the at work. It was after work in the evening where things went south. I got the chills even though I was all bundled up. My sinuses became congested. I also started coughing. I actually feel worse at home than when I was at work.

I’m gonna try to get some extra rest tonight like I did last night. While I certainly felt ill today, at least I wasn’t tired.


Well, I didn’t make to work today. It started yesterday afternoon when I felt the need to cough a bit. I wasn’t sure why. It was weird. I thought maybe my throat was dry or something. I felt fine otherwise. I went home and had some dinner. Everything was ok. Then right before bed, I started feeling something was off. Was I getting sick, I asked myself? I ignored and went to bed.

I woke up about about an hour before my alarm was supposed to go off. I was thirsty, I had to pee, my head hurt, and the rest of my body aching as well. I felt terrible. I went to pee and then grabbed a glass of water. As I laid back in bed, I had a decision to make. Was I ok to go to work? Could I drag myself to work feeling like death and just tough it out while being unproductive? Or was it better to just call in sick and get some rest? In my younger days, I’d probably be a tough guy and go to work but now I’m older and wiser. It hurt just to walk to my kitchen, so I decided to make it a sick day.

I went back to sleep after taking an Advil. I awoke after 2pm. I had slept more than four hours. I guess my body really needed that rest. I spent almost the entire day either in bed or in my Snuggie. I still feel like crap and I’m hoping another evening of rest will make things better. I hate being sick.


When you walk the same general route to work every day at almost the same time of day, you expect to see some patterns, as I do each morning. On any given work day, I can expect to recognize perhaps three or four strangers as I make my way west towards Yaletown. This isn’t really interesting in itself as it’s no surprise that people get into a routine for work. What is interesting, is one particular gentleman who I see walking the opposite way.

I’m not sure exactly where this man is going, except that it’s east, generally in the direction away from Yaletown. He seems to be wearing the same thing every time I see him. No matter what the weather, he’s in a grey hoodie. The hoodie isn’t all that thick, so I believe he probably was quite cold during those absolutely freezing days in December. During that time, it was well below freezing and he was not warmly dressed. Even when it’s raining he was in the hoodie (though the hood was up). That’s not the most interesting part though. I’ve never seen this guy with both hands free during my walk to work. Without fail, every time I’ve seen him, he has a drink in both hands. One hand has what appears to be a disposable cup (coffee or tea) and in the other hand is a clear drink container with a straw. The clear container looks like a juice drink and it seems to be always yellow or orange coloured. I want to say he gets both drinks from Starbucks but I could be wrong.

We’re all creatures of habit and this gentleman’s morning habit appears to be wearing the same hoodie while holding the exact same two drinks every morning on the way to work. This is just an observation and not a criticism. Millions of people have the same cup of coffee in the morning on their way to work in the morning, so while his habit is different, it’s not crazily so. If I could ask him just one question, it would be, why the two drinks at the same time?


Like many Sundays, I had dinner with my parents this evening. We normally go out for dinner but my mother told me we’d be eating in tonight. So when I drove to my parents’ home this evening, I found that my mom and dad had prepared hot pot for dinner. Hot pot is usually delicious and a fantastic meal. Going to a hot pot restaurant almost guarantees a good time. There is always an element of danger though, especially when you’re having hot pot at home. The presence of raw meats and seafood can lead to food borne illness. You need to be careful to cook everything sufficiently to kill any bacteria. Even if you cook everything properly, there’s still the possibility of contaminating utensils and surfaces by using the wrong implements; for example, using the same chopsticks to handle raw meats and cooked foods.

Knowing all of this, I was a bit wary of the meal. I made sure the broth was really boiling at all times. You never want it to get too cold or it won’t be hot enough to kill off any nasty bugs. I was also super careful not to use the wrong chopsticks. My mom laid out two sets for everyone, one for cooking and one for eating. To be even more careful, I tried to avoid all the more risky foods. I stuck to fish balls, dumplings, thin slices of beef (which you can eat slightly raw), and vegetables. I avoided things like raw chicken, shrimp, and oysters. I could not avoid my mother plopping down half a small oyster on my plate. It looked cooked enough, so I ate it.

After dinner, I went upstairs to fix my mom’s printer. Not ten minutes after finishing dinner, I felt a familiar rumbling in my midsection. I know my body well enough to realize when it starts to rumble in that spot, that’s not a good sign. Five minutes later, I was in the bathroom, expelling the contents of dinner through one of my orifices. I’m not sure what it was. Maybe it was the oyster. Who knows? At least after I left the bathroom, I felt much better and haven’t really had any problems for the rest of the evening. It is interesting that I feel like I didn’t even have dinner tonight. I had to make a large snack later in the evening.

Ya gotta be careful when having hot pot.