My latest trip to San Diego was quite different from my first one. I didn’t try to jam in activities and sight-seeing every single day like last time. My only goals this time were to relax and enjoy the weather.

The weather didn’t exactly cooperate the first day. When I landed, the skies were a bit overcast and sun was hiding behind clouds. I was hoping the clouds would go away but instead, as the hours went on, it got more gray. Then in the late afternoon, as I was out by the water, it started to rain. I was a bit dismayed that I’d traveled all this way to experience rain, which I knew was not falling in Vancouver at the time. It was raining so hard that I had to retreat back to my hotel because I didn’t bring neither a proper jacket nor an umbrella. Luckily, the rain went away by dinner time and that was the only inclement weather during the trip.

It was sunny and warm for the rest of my time in the city, with temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius. It’s still such an amazing thing to experience warm temperatures likes that in February while in North America. I wore shorts and a t-shirt during the day, though if you’re out on the water, you probably need a light jacket or a hoodie.

I can’t say I really did or see a lot during the trip other than eat and enjoy the sun. That was the plan though, so I feel good about that. I did take in one harbour tour by water though. The boat took us past a huge US Navy shipyard and under the Coronado Bay Bridge twice. I’d never seen that many US Navy ships in one place before. In general, there is a large military presence in and around San Diego, mostly from the navy.

One particular thing I have to mention is that this was the first vacation I took while having mobile data the entire way. I purchased a three-day talk/text/data plan from Roam Mobility before I left. For less than $4 a day, I had my own local number and could call locally and even back to Canada. Having access to mobile data was the biggest win though. You get 400 Mb a day, which rolls over to the next day if you don’t use all of it. It was so nice to be able to use Google Maps and look stuff up while I was around the city. When I was on the boat tour, I was sending pictures to a friend over instant message as the tour was proceeding. All of this is done over an LTE network too which means everything is super fast. I’m not on an LTE network at home and that was my first time seeing how fast it is. In a way, I wish I had never seen how good LTE is, now that I’m back home on my regular 3G network. Anyways, if you’re Canadian and visiting the US, Roam Mobility is the way to go.

I would not hesitate to return to San Diego for a third time. No matter how much you see and do there, the weather will always be something I want to experience. I shall think of sunny and warm San Diego for months to come.


About 48 hours ago, I was at Coronado Beach, enjoying the 20+ degree weather and getting a tan. Now, I’m back in Vancouver, where I woke up to grey skies and much chillier temperatures. The fact that I returned to the warmest region of Canada by a country mile gives me no solace. On Monday, when I had a lovely seafood lunch on a warm patio, the wait staff had to open the umbrellas to shade the patrons from piercing sun.

I will write more about my vacation but alas, I have to go to bed early as I need to practice getting up early for Monday. 🙁


Some of you might be surprised to know that I’m currently in San Diego right now. I arrived early Sunday afternoon. This trip came together quite quickly as I wanted a short vacation before starting my new job. I chose San Diego because when I visited previously in 2012 and stayed for six days, I had an awesome time. The weather was so good too! Twenty degrees Celsius in late January!

So this seemed like a natural choice for a repeat visit. Unfortunately, the trip started off badly even before I left Vancouver. On Friday afternoon, I was downtown running errands when I noticed considerable muscle aches all over my body. I knew this was bad. When I got home my head started to hurt. Later, I got the chills and began shivering almost uncontrollably. When that passed, I felt hot, like I had a fever. I’m no doctor but I was sure I had the flu. I felt just awful and I had to be on a plane in just over 24 hours. I honestly wasn’t sure how this was going to work.

I went to bed early (at least for me) and I planned on dropping by a walk-in clinic to see a doctor on Saturday morning. When I woke up I still felt terrible and I was just exhausted. It took a good ten minutes for me to even muster the strength to get out of bed. I got my ass to the clinic somehow. When I did see the doctor I asked if I was a candidate for Tamiflu, which is the only drug known to reduce the effects and duration of some kinds of flu. He said I was, so he gave me a prescription.

Now I’m not sure if it was the Advil, the Tamiflu, or just my own body fighting the illness but I started feeling better Saturday afternoon. The headache went away and the muscle aches reduced. I was still a bit tired though. That was enough for me to finish packing.

By the time I boarded my flight at 7:30am this morning, I was feeling almost normal. I’ve never really experienced anything like this before. The difference between how I was feeling in just 48 hours was two extremes.

Anyways, I gotta go, I need to see if it’s practical for me to go to Tijuana tomorrow.


So last week my mother instructed me to look into getting a cell phone for my father. While my Mom has had a cell phone for many, many years, Dad has gone without, mainly because he’s not good with modern day technology. Mom thinks it would be really convenient if she could get a hold of her husband when he’s out and about. Currently that’s not possible unless he phones in from somewhere.

Because he’ll be using a phone sparingly, a pay-as-you-go plan is probably the most sensible way to go. Also, it’d be crazy for him to get the latest and greatest smartphone. That would be like using a rocket launcher to kill a fly, way over the top. To that end, I’m giving him my very first “smartphone”, the HTC Legend, which I bought sometime in 2010. This phone was barely adequate when it first came out but now five years along, it has not aged well. The screen resolution sucks and it’s stuck on Android 2.2 which makes it seem like an Atari 2600 compared to the Lollipop version of Android that powers my current phone.

I think this phone will be ok for my father’s needs for the short-term, until perhaps we get him a better one. Now when I say better, I mean most likely a bigger screen (for larger text) and a more advanced (and thus user-friendly) operating system. The concept of programs, applications, icons, and the meaning of various UI constructs is mostly lost on my father because he didn’t grow up learning any of these things. To that end, I’ll have to strip down the phone to the basics, and not litter the screen with a billion icons.

Well, at least my Mom will be able to remind my Dad to get eggs when he’s at the store.


So it’s that time of year for Canadians to buy RRSPs before the deadline. As part of the Home Buyers’ Plan, I have to buy RRSPs every year to repay what I took out when I bought my home. I could buy the safest RRSPs out there, investment choices where volatility is extremely low but so is the chance for growth. Because I’m terrible with money, I’ve decided to buy a mutual fund that has holdings in Mexico, Central and South America. The volatility of this fund is high and currently it’s not doing so well. If you had bought into this fund about six months ago, you’d be down about 17%. I think that’s great though because it’s got a good chance of going up. I’m using the “buy low, sell high” strategy here. Because it’s an RRSP, I’m not looking to sell this fund anytime soon.

I’m sure there are better choices out there in terms of RRSPs but I think this will be a good experiment. I just need social and economic stability from Latin America. That’s not too much to ask, right?


So it just dawned on me today that I haven’t told you, my loyal readers, that I’m going back to work. Yes, that’s correct, my current fantasy lifestyle is going to have to end for the time being. I’m super tired so I’ll have to expand on the details later. I start work on March 2, so there is little bit of time left for me to extract as much fun as possible before I revert back to a simple, working plebe.


Ooooo weeee!

This evening NBC celebrated the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live with a live special that easily could be the television event of the year. This was no simple retrospective show with a few old clips as every single cast member and every single host (even if they hosted just once) from the last four decades was invited back to New York City for the celebration. The resulting guest list of people in the audience and those scheduled to perform was a dazzling array of comedy legends, actors, actresses, musicians, athletes, and writers. It took three and a half hours to celebrate the forty years that SNL has been on the air.

Earlier in the day though, as I was reading through some #SNL40 tweets, it suddenly dawned on me how this anniversary made me feel old. The reason being is that I remember watching the SNL 15th anniversary like it was yesterday. I was in junior high at the time and had only really started watching SNL perhaps a year or two previously. I was only familiar with the current cast at the time, people like Dana Carvey and Mike Myers. The special showed me a glimpse of all the shows and cast members from the 70s and early 80s, stuff I’d never seen before. At the time, I’d only seen a fraction of the shows that had aired, missing out on a good twelve to thirteen years of live sketches. I taped the 15th anniversary special and it was so funny, I regularly watched it for about six months after it aired.

Fast-forward to this afternoon and I realized that fifteen had become forty. How did twenty-five years go by so fast? Where did the time go? In that quarter of a century since I taped that special, dozens and dozens of people have come and gone from SNL. Some became rich and world-famous, others went on to live more modest lives. If you were to count up the number of SNL shows I’ve seen, I’ve easily watched more than half of them now, quite a contrast to junior high me, who had just started watching the show.

Lots of things make me feel old these days but it’s a rare thing for a TV show to make me feel that way.


It’s that time of year again when you can see how much your friends and family made in public sector jobs in the province of British Columbia for the last fiscal year. The Vancouver Sun maintains a searchable database of nearly all the public sector employee salaries.

For those of you who don’t know anyone in this province, this might not be of much interest to you. Also, if all your friends work in the private sector then this database means nothing to you. If you’re like me though, then you have a good list of people to check up on. It’s good to see all my former engineering and computer science professors making good coin still. Some of friends now are lecturers and professors as well. I was also able to look up some of my former high school teachers too. One of them, who is probably my favorite teacher, has a great salary. She deserves every penny.

Anyways, have fun snooping!