A few days ago I was at a local department store to buy an extension cord. I approached a cashier to pay for the item and I noticed a small box of chocolates at the sales counter. The Tabasco people had combined their famous hot sauce with chocolate. This small bar of chocolate cost about $1.50 so I decided to try it out.

As you can see above, the bar isn’t that big so I knew if I didn’t like it at least there wouldn’t be a lot of it to eat. The chocolate itself is a really dark colour which I was glad to see since I much prefer dark chocolate these days. I broke off a piece and ate it. The first piece was underwhelming. It tasted like a normal piece of dark chocolate, though admittedly it was pretty good and not too sweet. Not a hint of that familiar Tabasco hot sauce flavour. I encountered the same thing with the second piece. It was only by the third piece did I started to detected a bit of spiciness. The final piece had a slight kick to it.

Unfortunately, at no time could I even tell this chocolate had any of that Tabasco flavour in it. It was just chocolate that happened to have this generic mildly spicy kick. If I hadn’t seen the wrapper, you could have said it was chocolate with black pepper in it and I would have believed you.

I can’t say i would recommend this as a purchase. At this point, I’m wondering if you’re better off just buying regular dark chocolate and pouring on some normal Tabasco sauce on it.


I’ve gotten into the habit of eating two scrambled eggs and two pieces of bacon for breakfast at work. What a great way to start the day. Though after having that three days in a row, I was concerned by my bacon consumption and this morning I decided not to have any breakfast at work. That just led to me being super hungry well before lunch. I’m going back to the bacon and eggs tomorrow.

Speaking of work, I get paid tomorrow. After two full weeks of work, I finally get compensated. I haven’t received money that wasn’t a government handout since October 10. I wasn’t hurting for money but I’ll take it.

To satisfy my curiosity I went to Target to have a look at their sales. It was clear the stores have already been picked over for the best stuff. There was still a fair amount of product on the shelves though. That can be attributed to the fact that most stuff was only 30% off. That doesn’t seem like a “going out of business” discount, that’s more like a “we’re still in business but here’s a sorta good discount”. For some items, even with the 30% discount, the prices were still very close to other retailers like Walmart (and those are their regular prices). I did buy one thing however. I got a new shower curtain for $10. Over the course of Target’s presence in Canada, I bought less than a half a dozen items at all their stores.

Ok kids, have a great weekend.


Most people try to be efficient when they’re at work. I get it. The more time you waste not doing work means you’re not as productive. Sometimes wasting time is fun but in general, you just want to get your stuff done. So people try to be efficient with their time. Case in point is not having to make two trips from your desk when you have to use the washroom and when you need to get some coffee or tea. Why not combine both things into one trip?

Earlier in the week, I’m going to the washroom and there’s a guy ahead of me. He’s holding a coffee mug in one hand. He brings the mug into the bathroom and leaves it on a shelf that’s attached to the wall across the from the stalls. We go do our business and I leave before he’s done (I did wash my hands). I’m not sure what he did with his mug afterwards but I would never bring my mug, cup, or glass into the bathroom with me. Who knows what kind of poop or pee particles are in the air that could land into your drinking instrument?

Sure, his mug might have been empty and he could have washed it after he got out of there but feeling is it would have been better to not even have those poop and/or pee particles in there in the first place. So what is the better solution? Well, outside the washroom door is a much smaller shelf that seems to be somewhat decorative but can fit a coffee mug easily. Leave your mug there. Alternatively, you can just leave your mug temporarily at the coffee/tea station while you go do your business. In that short amount of time, no one is going to take it.

Let’s not bring out drinks into the washroom with us.


I installed a new hard drive in my computer tonight. I replaced my old Windows drive with an SSD. It’s one of them “new” fancy drives that has no moving parts like a USB memory stick but different. I thought this would be a time-consuming and tricky procedure to move my Windows installation over to a new drive but it turned out to be rather simple.

I didn’t do any before and after testing but my computer boots up really quickly now. I really wish I could quantify that more but trust me it’s quicker. Anything on that drive actually comes up lightning quick. The only downside is it’s 128 Gb in size which is too small for all my data fit on it. Hmmm… maybe if I just put all my porn on that drive…


So as an employee of Electronic Arts, you have lots of information at your disposal. One of these information portals is a web site that employees use to track and enter in all their personal info. It contains things like your address, emergency contacts, past performance reviews, salary history, and basically just about every detail of your employment with the company. Last week when I logged into this site, I went into the compensation section and I was surprised to see I was making $3K a year more than what was in my final offer letter. Of course, I wasn’t going to run to my manager to correct such an egregious error. I simply left it as is and hoped that no one would notice.

Well, I checked it again today and my salary is now back to where it’s supposed to be, matching the salary in my offer letter. I’m not sure who noticed it or who fixed it but my joy was short-lived. Also, because no paycheque was given to me yet, there’s no money to give back. Oh well, for a while, I was making bank. Now, I’m just a scrub.


I received a letter from my bank in the mail a few days ago. The letter was informing me that my bank was willing to increase the credit limit on Visa card by $2,500 which would bring that number to five-figures. I didn’t request an increase so my bank is doing this on its own.

This isn’t the first time they’ve just randomly decided to give me a credit increase. Banks really don’t do things for you unless it ultimately makes more money for them. Since I pay off my Visa bill completely every month (and have done so since about 2005), my bank makes no money off me. I don’t pay any interest at all. I believe this credit increase is another ploy to change my spending habits so that I get into a situation where I start carrying a Visa balance from month to month. Perhaps with a higher limit I might start thinking about a bigger vacation or more expensive purchases.

Of course, there is one actual benefit to having a higher limit and that’s the peace of mind knowing you can afford to handle a significant financial emergency if one were to happen. I’ve also heard this might be beneficial to your credit score if you don’t change your spending habits. Essentially, you have more credit at your disposal but since you’re spending the same amount, that looks better on your credit report.

The onus is on me to agree to this increase but I think I’ll probably go ahead with it. As long as I don’t go on a crazy shopping spree, this is beneficial to me in the long run.


It’s Friday tomorrow and I’m so excited that it’s the weekend. I haven’t been this stoked about a weekend since October when I still had a job. Though I am reminded of what someone told me once where I proclaimed “TGIF” at work. They responded, “Oh yay, only two more days until Monday.” That guy was a bit of a downer. Anyways, next Friday will be even more exciting when it’s the weekend and payday!

Despite having lots of great discounts for many different things, I’ve discovered the EA discount for bus passes can’t match the discount I get from “this guy” I know. My supplier of my bus pass, whom I shall keep private, is still the best deal when it comes to public transit. I don’t ask too questions, I just give him the money at the end of each month.

I lamented in a previous post about the loss of Redbox in Canada, which was the only way I rented Blu-ray movies for cheap. Now that I work for EA again, I remembered the employee-only library has Blu-ray movies in their vast collection. The only problem is over a thousand people can contend for a single copy of a movie at any one time. For some titles they buy two copies of the Blu-ray but that’s still not very good. Well, this is better than nothing I suppose.


Last May I wrote about a post about The Last Man on Earth, a new TV show featuring, well, the last man on Earth. The show, starring Will Forte, finally aired on Sunday night. I didn’t realize it would take ten months for it to show up but whatever.

It was a two-part premiere, featuring episodes one and two back to back. As I expected, the show started out with Forte’s character, Phil, taking advantage of not having any rules to follow. He travels in a large RV home, collecting pricey items as he explores America looking for survivors of some unmentioned plague. Among the items he “acquires” are: a Heisman trophy, Hugh Hefner’s PJs, the Declaration of Independence, and a fossilized T-Rex head.

Eventually, he starts to break down from the lack of human contact. Just as he’s about to crack, the show introduces the only other character we’ve seen so far. Phil finds Carol, played by Kristen Schaal. This is where the show keeps viewers on its toes. You would think that Phil would be so pleased to find another human being to associate with and a woman no less! It turns out Carol is devastatingly annoying. She corrects Phil’s grammar constantly and insists on following rules like stopping at stop signs and not parking in handicap spots.

Phil quickly discovers he really can’t stand Carol, despite her being the only other human he’s seen in two years. I think this is where the show can find its strength going forward.

I’ve been informed that other survivors show up in later episodes, so I can’t wait to see what happens.


While I was in San Diego, I used the vehicle service Uber for the first time. I received a promo code beforehand which offered a free ride up to $20 for first time users. At one point in my trip I needed to get from sunny place A to sunny place B and didn’t feel like walking the 20 minutes or so. Faced with a taxi or Uber, I decided to go with the option I never tried before. It also didn’t hurt I had the promo code.

Downloading the app was easy, especially since I had mobile data the entire trip. Signing up was easy too, except for slight hiccup. I had intended to use the local San Diego number I had and associate that with my Uber account but it turns out it had already been used. Not only had it been used with Uber, that person had left his account in arrears to the amount of $30. You need to confirm your number by replying to a text message that Uber sends and since the local number was associated with the bad account, there was no way to proceed. My only option was to use my own Vancouver number with the account. That required me to swap SIM cards briefly, just to reply to Uber’s text to verify my number and also to confirm that I wanted an Uber pickup. It was a bit of a hassle but I don’t blame Uber for it.

As for the actual service, I was quite impressed. I like how the app shows you on the map how many Uber drivers are available in your immediate vicinity. When a driver is selected for you, you can watch their progress as they approach your location. You can also even get an estimate of you fare for the whole trip even before committing to a ride. You even know the name of your driver and the type of vehicle they are driving before they get there. Once they pick you up, it’s pretty much like a normal taxi. The great thing is, once you’re dropped off, you’re able to contact the driver again if you forget something in the vehicle. I left my cell phone in a taxi once and because it was hours before I realized it, it was very difficult for me to track down who my driver was.

Overall, I really liked my limited experience with Uber. I am well aware though that Uber is not perfect. Their “surge pricing” practice is nothing but a huge price grab and I find it laughable that they even try to defend it. I also understand it there are concerns about ensuring the quality of the drivers and their vehicles. Even with its problems though, I think Uber has a lot going for it. The tradition taxi business seems to have stagnated and perhaps Uber will pull it kicking and screaming into the 21st century. I’m disappointed Uber had to retreat from Vancouver but I’m hoping it will return soon.