As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been putting up a few ads on Craigslist to sell some of the spare computer parts I have lying around. The responses have been fewer than I had liked but two of them are worth noting here.

The latest was sent to me via e-mail today. I’m selling one of my video cards for $80. This potential buyer wanted to know if I would accept a $100 gift card from Subway. He even offered to visit a local Subway to verify that the card was valid and contained the amount he stated. If it was a Visa or Amex gift card, I might have actually considered his offer but I can’t even begin to estimate how long it would take for me to eat $100 worth of Subway products. I used to like Subway quite a bit but they have become very cheap with their products in recent years. They will use the minimum amount of ingredients in their sandwiches. You want green peppers in your sub? The “artiste” will string the thinnest sliver of green pepper they can along the length of your sub. This qualifies as having “green peppers” in your sub. Suffice to say, I had to turn down the dude with his Subway gift card.

Another potential buyer offered me half of what I wanted for a video card. We went back and forth a bit but he didn’t budge from his initial offer. Humourously, he wanted to me consider the fact that it was “Christmas and money is tight” for him right now. You know, such a holiday request would have been more appropriate if he was asking for food or clothes for his children but we’re talking about a transaction for a video card. I’m not a charity here, doling out life’s bare necessities. He’s probably wanting to buy this so his video games look shinier on his computer. His Christmas plea did not move in the least and I did not dignify his last message with a response.

This is my first time selling stuff on Craigslist and so far, I’m wondering if eBay is better way of going about it, even with the hassle of shipping.


I’m not sure why L.A. Beast decided to do this if he is in fact actually allergic to cinnamon. He purports to have used some stuff to change the taste of cinnamon from spicy to sweet but I don’t think that changes his body’s reaction to it. Even just eating a few cinnamon jelly beans turns his face very red. Normally, his eating challenges would seriously injure most normal folks yet here I’d say many would be able to handle a few jelly beans. He goes on to eat some more stuff but you’ll have to watch to see what happens there.


I was out for dinner with a friend this evening and the restaurant was located by the water in downtown Vancouver. On the way home, I had to walk from the restaurant to the transit station. By that time, a huge wind storm had hit the coast.

I only had to walk half a block or so but it was a struggle most of the way. I felt like I was walking in a wind tunnel and of course, the wind was blowing against me. At one point, I thought the wind was strong enough to actually stop my progress as it seemed my next step might not be possible. Luckily, I was able to power through the howling wind and duck behind a wall which acted like a shield from the wind. On the way home, my train was stopped briefly as the wind had knocked some construction materials onto the track.

The power has flickered a few times at home but no outage thankfully. Interestingly, the water in my toilet bowl is moving around like miniature rough seas. I have patio furniture out on my balcony. I hope it’s still there in the morning.


I was coming home from Walmart this evening just before 9pm this evening. I was on the Skytrain and as my car was stopped at one of the stations near my home, I could see a large police presence on the road next to the station. It appeared traffic was stopped in both directions and I guessed there must have been an accident.

The tracks paralleled the road so when my train started moving closer to the police vehicles, I could see more clearly what was going on. Traffic was definitely stopped in both directions and there were a lot of semis on the road. Police officers were out and about, talking to the stopped drivers. I expected to see some damaged vehicles but there were none, at least from what I saw. I was really puzzled because it didn’t seem like there was anything blocking the road.

My train soon zoomed past the scene, so I was left wondering what had happened. About thirty-minutes after I got home, I found out why the police were out on the road. Apparently, a woman was struck by a tractor trailer and died at the scene. The vehicle that killed her drove off. It’s quite possible that her body was still on the road when I passed by and I just didn’t see it.

I have personally driven down that busy stretch of road many times. The road has a lot traffic at all times of the day and night, especially with the tractor trailers. What I don’t understand is that it appears she was struck in between intersections and in that area, there’s a considerable distance between intersections. Obviously I don’t know the details but if she was indeed trying to cross four lanes of busy traffic on a dark and rainy night, that was an odd decision. I found a video that shows the road in question and as you can see, there are no crosswalks and one side of the road doesn’t even have a sidewalk. Did the vehicle that struck her jump the curb to do so? None of the reports seem to indicate this though.

Poor lady, I feel for her family.


For several weeks I’ve been watching videos on a YouTube channel called “Car Crash Compilation“. For my astute readers out there, this channel features videos showing car crashes and accidents. The majority of the accidents documented are from Russia. In that country, dashcams have become ubiquitous as people need the footage to protect themselves from insurance scams. As such, hundreds of incidents on the road have been caught on tape.

After watching almost two dozen of these videos, I’m utterly shocked at how different driving is in Russia. The drivers in Russia are terrible. I know everyone complains about drivers in their own city but I think one needs to look at the state of what passes for normal driving conditions in Russia before passing judgement. The above video is just one of the many videos available but what is shown there is typical of what you might see in Russia. I’ve noticed a few things that definitely distinguish North American driving culture from that in Russia.

A total disregard traffic laws

I’m not sure how drivers are licensed and/or tested in Russia but it appears that many drivers there either don’t know or don’t care about traffic laws or regulations. In many of the videos, I see people running red lights at full speed, as if they didn’t care or didn’t see what the colour of the traffic light was. This leads to some of the more spectacular accidents. I’ve also noticed Russian drivers making their own lanes to pass other cars, using the shoulder or going two-wide in a single lane. I’ve also seen some drivers making their own dedicated turning lane by positioning themselves ahead of someone in an actual dedicated turning lane. In general, if there is a moving violation to be made, I’ve probably seen a Russian driver do it.

Unsafe and dangerous left-hand turns

This point might be fall under the one above but it merits its own discussion. The majority of the accidents you see in these videos occur from people making unsafe and dangerous left-hand turns. Such a turn is probably one of the most risky moves a driver can make. It requires good judgement and a safe driving sense, none of which appears to be in good supply amongst Russian drivers. I’ve seen Russian drivers make a left without even checking to see if all lanes are clear. The classic example is when both inside lanes going in opposite directions have two cars waiting to turn left. Each car is blocking the others view of the far lane. In such a case, the drivers both have to ensure the rest of the lanes are clear of traffic before proceeding. In many cases, Russian drivers just seem to go for it, hoping luck is on their side. Another egregious error they love making is turning left from a lane that isn’t the lane closest to the center. I have no idea why they would do this. Imagine if you felt it was safe turning left from the curb lane. For you and I, that might seem like a wholly dangerous and irresponsible maneuver but for Russian drivers, it’s a very common thing. It’d be one of thing if perhaps they shoulder checked to see if the other lane was clear of traffic before cutting through multiple lanes of traffic but they don’t. The results are some massive crashes where a car going straight in the other lane t-bones the idiot turner.

Following way too close

This is such an easy thing to not do, yet very few Russian drivers seem to understand this. I’m not sure what they teach them over there but I was taught to maintain a two-second gap between your car and the vehicle in front of you no matter what speed you are going. This is to allow you to have enough time to stop should the vehicle in front of you need to make an emergency braking maneuver. I would say in Russia, drivers just tailgate each other in any situation and at any speed. This is why the videos are full of accidents where people rear-ended. I would understand maybe if someone had to stop from 100 km/h to 0 in two seconds that might cause some difficulty for the car behind but the videos are chock-full of examples where people are decelerating normally and getting smacked from behind. It almost seems like any time you apply your brakes in Russia, there’s a 50/50 chance someone is gonna rear end you. I don’t understand why Russian drivers don’t leave more room between their cars.

A complete lack of driving sense

In many of these accidents, I believe most of them could have been avoided. You can almost see the accident formulate before it happens. I think this comes about if you have experience driving and/or you were taught defensive driving techniques. In North America, you are taught to know where all the dangers to your car might come from in any driving situation. If you know where danger is, then you can anticipate what might go wrong at any given time. For example, if you’re approaching an intersection in the curb lane and you have a green light. In this case, I know to look for drivers to my right who might be trying to make a right-hand turn on a red (which is allowed in my province). I can’t rely on that driver to have seen me and to make a complete stop. So I’ll look at that car to see if it appears to be stopping or perhaps even going forward. I’ll be ready to brake if I need to. If for whatever reason that driver pulls in front of me, it won’t be a complete surprise and I’ll be ready for it.

The other classic example is if you’re again in the curb lane and you’re entering an intersection where the center lane going in the same direction has someone waiting to turn left. There’s also another left-hand turner waiting in the opposite direction. I could just sail into the intersection without a care in the world, hoping that the guy turning left opposite of me will know I’m there and his/her vision won’t be blocked by the other car. Doing so would be just stupid but that’s in fact what many Russian drivers do. In this situation, I often slow down as I approach the intersection and have my foot on the brake, just in case the guy decides to do something dumb and turn in front of me.

Many of these accidents could have been avoided if the drivers just were more aware and vigilant about where the danger was coming from. Call it situational awareness or driving sense but many Russian drivers seem to lack this completely as these videos show.

In summary, I would be very afraid to drive, be in vehicle, or even be a pedestrian in Russia. I wonder if Russian people know how bad their drivers are or do they think this type of driving is normal?


I finally weighed myself again last week. I was doing this in preparation to see how much weight I needed to lose before starting my job search. I knew I had gained a few pounds during the summer since I was at work so much and my diet was not the best. I decided to spend a whole month just eating whatever I wanted to before buckling down and getting to a healthier weight.

Before I did the weigh-in, I had noticed that I wasn’t looking that fat in the mirror. I chalked it up to just an illusion that I was trying to project onto myself and that I was indeed a bit chubby. Well, when I got back on the scale, to my surprise, I’d already lost about six pounds since I stopped working. I did this without doing an extra exercise or really watching my diet. In a previous post, I mentioned how I was already eating much less compared to when I working. It was this and the combination of getting a lot of rest every day that must have led to the weight loss.

I think I could easily just pat myself on the back and not get more exercise and continue to eat whatever I want but that’s not the right way to approach this. Going forward, I’ll try to be more active and start to watch my diet more. Once again, I’ve proven that when I don’t work, that will lead to weight loss.


For many years now I’ve had this fear of missing my stop when riding on public transit because I was asleep. I’ve written about it many times, including the one instance where I actually did miss my stop. Luckily it was a minor inconvenience since I only went to the next station and the two stations are very close together.

Well, about two weeks ago it happened again. I was scheduled to have lunch with some of my former co-workers on a weekday. I wanted to see how they were doing and to discuss how successful we were in launching Halo to the appreciative gaming public (ha!). Unfortunately, the night before I stupidly drank some Coke Zero and had a cup of tea, thereby ingesting a massive amount of caffeine. My body loves to stay up late anyways, so I was wide awake all through the night and early morning despite my attempts to get some rest. I believe I might have procured an hour to possibly an hour and a half of sleep before needing to wake up to make it to lunch. I felt absolutely awful though and was in a zombie like state. I did not want to bail on lunch though so I went.

Lunch was great and I was able to make the best of it. Seeing everyone that I used to work with was awesome. After lunch, I was feeling the lack of sleep so I hopped on the Skytrain to go home. Once onboard, I could tell I was really tired because I couldn’t remember the last time I had this level of exhaustion. I fell asleep very quickly and it was a very deep sleep. Normally, when I fall asleep on public transit it’s a very light sleep where I can usually wake up just enough to see what station I’m at. This time I was in a very deep slumber. I wonder if I snored. Man, that would be embarrassing.

When I finally woke up, it took me about a second to realize that I had missed my station. As I regained my senses, I saw the automated doors were closing and the train was leaving the station after my stop. Then I realized I was on the particular line that takes you over to Surrey, the crime-ridden suburb that you want to avoid if you can. I can’t remember the last time I willingly went to Surrey but here I was, going over the Skybridge to dangers unknown. Of course, I was just going to get off at the next station and take the next train going back. I was just hoping to not get shanked on the platform while I waited for said train. To my delight and relief, as my train was pulling into the station, a train going the other way was doing the same as well. I ran across the platform and into the right train car.

Luckily, I made it home safe and sound. It only took utter and total exhaustion for me to miss my stop by a country mile.


I have returned from the UFG holiday party. I don’t think I’ve felt this full from any holiday party in recent memory. There was generous portions of roast turkey, baked ham, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, vegetables of many kinds, salad, and later on desserts, including a chocolate fountain fondue. The carving station was giving out random, giant turkey legs to people. They barely fit on the plate. One of my friends was a lucky recipient of such a leg and he had a difficult time eating all the meat off it.

There was an abundance of drink tickets too, so much so that I had to give away five of them before I left. Almost seven hours after eating dinner, I still feel stuffed. I probably ate way too much. I had a lovely time and as always, UFG made it a well-organized evening. I think I will go lie down now.


For years, I’ve been trying to get invited to the holiday parties for some of the companies I used to work for. After I got laid off from EA in late 2010, I tried every year to be someone’s +1 for their parties. Having attended many of their holiday and wrap parties, it was easy to see EA had the resources to throw a damn good party. Despite all efforts, I could not find a single person to let me be their +1. I probably didn’t ask the right people.

Well, I’m happy to announce that I am indeed a +1 for tomorrow’s UFG holiday party. It probably worked in my favour that up until two months ago, I was one of their employees. I asked a guy that used to sit right across from my work desk if he was bringing anyone to the party. He said no, so he’s graciously allowed me to be his guest at tomorrow’s party. We got along really well during my time on Halo so I believe that’s why he’s doing this huge favour for me.

The Halo wrap party was just a month ago so it will be great to see everyone again so soon. That party was at a bar so it was a stand and mingle type party with appies. The holiday party is at a restaurant and apparently it’s a sit-down dinner type of affair. Fancy!

As an unemployed dude, I’m just happy to get a free meal and to see all my old co-workers again.


As many of you know I’m not working right now, which enables me to stay up super late and sleep in until shortly before people start leaving work for the day. That’s great and all but there’s no denying the incoming cash flowing isn’t what it used to be. While I’m not about to miss mortgage payments or anything, I wouldn’t complain if some random dollars started coming in. To that end, this evening, I posted my very first Craigslist ad. After my latest computer upgrades, I discovered I have a decent amount of computer parts lying around, most of which are new enough to be sold for a reasonable amount of money.

I’m selling my three extra video cards first because they’re the most time sensitive components. The longer I wait to sell these, the more advanced the newer cards will be, which means my cards will be even more outdated and worth less. I’d be happy to get $150 to for all three cards. I also have some RAM, a working motherboard, a possibly busted motherboard, a Intel Core 2 Duo processor, two power supplies, and a giant PC case to sell. These will be tougher to sell, especially the power supplies and the case but if I could get sell the rest, I’d consider that a victory.

I don’t even know if anyone will even offer to buy the video cards. I did my research before deciding on prices. Who’s gonna want to buy a used part when it’s priced as much a new one? In general, I tried to price it to sell without basically giving it away. For example, the newest video card I’m selling still retails for about $120 or higher in some cases but I’m selling it for $80. Seems like a reasonable price?

I hope I don’t get ripped off somehow.