This evening I attended the annual general meeting for my building’s strata council. As some of you might know, such meetings can be very long, drawn-out, and boring affairs. We voted on three items and there was very little discussion throughout the meeting. There was a budget amendment that took the most time to sort out but there was very little debate about it. All of the issue were not very controversial at all. The election of the new strata council also took very little time as basically every candidate was elected by acclamation.

All told, the whole thing took perhaps an hour and twenty minutes to complete. To give you some perspective, in previous, more contentious years, such meetings have lasted well over two and a half hours, sometimes bordering on three hours. I am sure we will return to longer meetings in the future as the building gets older and more things have to be repaired.


I still have several hundreds shares in the company that I currently work for. These are the remnants of all the partially vested stock awards I received throughout the years. The vesting periods were all cut short due to various layoffs I suffered. Yet the remaining amount of shares are still substantial.

EA’s stock has been doing incredibly well since mid-October of 2014. As some of you might remember, as stock began to rise, some of my shares became valuable again. I sold all my ESPP shares that were essentially worthless at the point where I was able to break even. As I reveled in the joy of getting my money back, even Steven, the stock continued to climb. It’s now at around $64 a share, coming close to the historical high of $68, where it was sometime in 2005.

My strategy with these shares was to hold onto them until the day I really needed the money. Since I’ve never needed to liquidate that much of my assets, the shares remained in my portfolio. Current events, however, are making me re-think my strategy, even without a real need for this cash. First, the stock price, like I mentioned previously, is trending higher and higher. It’s been like this for a few quarters now. Wall Street is really liking what EA’s financials look like. If this continues and there is no apparent reason why it wouldn’t, it’s possible that the stock price could eclipse the all-time high of $68.

The second compelling reason to sell now or very soon, is the value of the US dollar compared to the Canadian one. Currently, 1 US dollar is worth 1.25 Canadian dollar, which makes it favourable to have US dollars if you’re doing anything in Canada. These shares will be sold in American dollars and the proceeds will be awarded to me in American dollars as well. Stock price notwithstanding, I automatically get a 25% bonus for selling now compared to the beginning of 2013, when it was last at par. Imagine that, an investment increasing in value by 25% in two years! That’s pretty good right?

So, that’s why I’m thinking about selling very soon. The stock price could slip again or the Canadian dollar could go back up. If I didn’t sell, I could be in for some regret.

On the other hand, these things are unpredictable. What if the stock price continues to rise? Or the Canadian dollar continues to slide? What if both of these happens? My shares could be worth even more a few months from now.

These shares have never been this valuable. Do I let it ride or cash out now while things are good? Someone tell me what to do??!?!!


I know my readers anxiously wait for this every year but the wait is finally over, I received my property tax assessment in the mail today. Since my property assessment went down this year, I was expecting my property tax to go down as well. To my relief, my property taxes are indeed less compared to last year, by 10%.

What will I do with that extra money? Well, can I even call it extra money actually? It’s just money I didn’t spend on taxes. Anyways, the amount is fairly small so there’s not a lot of options. I could put it towards an existing RRSP or TFSA account. That’s always a smart choice. Maybe I should bet on hockey again. Despite my wishes against it, I feel like the Anaheim Ducks will win the Cup this year. I want to be wrong but it looks like the safe bet at this point. Or perhaps I should spend it on a nice dinner, like a 20 piece bucket with fries.

For all the other homeowners out there, good luck with your taxes!


I’m not sure when they started doing this but Safeway Canada tweets out an amazing deal every Monday. The deal usually involves two or three items that you have to buy together and the price is around $6. There is some choice in items you can buy. Take for example today’s deal:

There were many varieties of perogies to choose from, as well as different gelato and ice cream flavours. On a normal day, these three items would have totaled over $12 together but with today’s deal it was just $5.99. I like perogies, sour cream, and ice cream so it was an easy choice for me.

Last week’s deal was:

I’m not a big fan of gnocchi and parmesan, so I let this one pass. I didn’t get in on the following deal but I sure would have!

If you decide to partake in any of these deals, I believe you have to inform the cashier when they ring it up. I’ve also heard people say you can’t buy anything else on the same bill. Not sure about that one. I know if you do the self-checkout, one of the Safeway staff has to enter in a special code for the deal to work. I tried scanning all three items and the prices remained non-discounted. Happy saving!


As the R-rated trailer above shows, the movie Ted 2 is coming out in late June. I saw the first one in the theatres, enjoyed it, and I want to see the sequel. For Ted 2, however, I will most definitely obtain the movie through pirate-like means. This may come as surprise to you, as I’ve stated many times before that I refuse to view and obtain entertainment like movies and games through less than legal means. It’s because I would find it hypocritical to ask people to buy the games that I make, yet pirate movies and games myself. Because of this, I don’t think I’ve torrented a movie in over ten years and it was probably 1993 when I last played a pirated game. For Ted 2, I will make an exception and that is because of one Mr. Mark Wahlberg.

Before he became a successful entertainer with a net worth of several millions of dollars, Wahlberg was straight up a punk-ass racist son of a bitch. His run-ins with the law are well-documented, including the time he assaulted two older Vietnamese men, essentially sucker punching them after shouting racial epithets at them. Wahlberg appeared to be proud of the assaults, admitting to investigators that he was the one who perpetrated the crimes against the “slant-eyed gooks”, a term he freely used when questioned.

Wahlberg was charged with attempted murder for his crimes but only plead guilty to assault. His two-year sentence was not served fully, as he was let out after just 45 days. Since he has become rich and famous, he has not made any efforts to reach out to any of the men he assaulted that day, despite his considerable power to do so now. In fact, Wahlberg has applied to state of Massachusetts for a full pardon for his crimes. Wahlberg states his reason for applying for a pardon is because he’s turned his life around and does “good work” for other people now. Yet, for all his “good work”, he has done nothing for the victims for this crimes.

Others have smartly discovered that Wahlberg’s ultimate reason for applying for the pardon is purely business. He is looking to expand his restaurant business into California and cannot get the right permits/licenses as a convicted felon. A pardon would remove such roadblocks. There is considerable opposition to Wahlberg’s application for a pardon, including the prosecutor who sent Wahlberg to jail and the organization 18 Million Rising, an organization that supports Asian-Americans.

Despite the fact that one of the men that Wahlberg assaulted has stated he forgives him, I see no reason for him to receive a full pardon. He has never fully acknowledged the racial nature of his crime, which would probably be prosecuted as a hate crime now. With his star-power and wealth, he has not done anything to make amends with his victims. The pardon reeks of business undertones, just so he can sling burgers in California.

I realize that if I don’t pay to see Ted 2, that won’t make a damn difference to Wahlberg’s career but I can’t in good conscience support his movie. I will gladly pirate this film when it comes out later next month. Apologies to everyone else who was involved in Ted 2, I’ll get ya back on a non-Wahlberg film next time.


I know some of you must be tired of all this Dave Letterman business and I believe the man himself might be tired of it too but I’ll leave you with one more accolade about him. The above clip comes from Conan O’Brien, during his monologue. Conan’s show starts about 30 minutes before Dave’s and he is nice enough to implore people to switch over to Dave’s last show once it starts.

Conan took over Dave’s show in 1993, when he left for CBS. He had some massive shoes to fill and for a while, it wasn’t looking so good. I’ll leave it to Conan to describe how Dave helped him out.


Thanks Dave!

Tonight, talk-show host David Letterman will do his last show and retire after a long and legendary career. I will miss his style of comedy, his humour, and the great joy he gave me as a viewer. He entertained me for decades and I am thankful for that.

In 1982, he start hosting Late Night with David Letterman, on the heels of an ill-conceived morning show, which did not fit his unique style of comedy. I was far too young to watch Dave regularly back then but it was definitely his Late Night show that revealed to me, that this oddly funny man, David Letterman existed. It was his anniversary shows that really caught my attention and made me a big fan of his comedy. By the time I was in junior high, I would try my best to stay up late on Friday nights to watch him and sometimes tape his shows on the weekdays to view the next day after school.

Growing up, David Letterman, to me, had the most entertaining late-night talk show bar none. He was the best of the bunch. I say that knowing full well that Johnny Carson was still around at that time. Lest you think, I didn’t appreciate Carson, I certainly did. I used to watch a syndicated show that used to be on in the early evenings called Carson’s Comedy Classics. This show featured clips from The Tonight Show from about 1962 to 1982, which gave me a wide exposure to Carson’s best moments.

As funny and classy Carson was at 11:30pm, there was just something magical going on at 12:30am (then eventually 12:35am) with Dave’s show. His show was unorthodox, wacky, zany and often full of this weird energy that made you want to see what would happen next. Dave was fearless about doing stuff to get a laugh. He didn’t feel constrained with the traditional audience and studio set up. He frequently brought the cameras outside the studio, into the halls, down on the street, and in other locations. To me, he perfected the concept of the remote bit, leaving the studio in search of laughs. In this regard, he was especially brave, sometimes engaging with people he knew would draw sharp reactions but knowing full well it was worth it for the laughs. His attempt to deliver a gift basket to General Electric (at the time, new owners of NBC), remains a classic remote in the history of late night television.

It was this daring and “damn the torpedoes” attitude to comedy that made me a fan of David Letterman. He also adopted this attitude to other portions of his show, like when he interviewed celebrity guests. I get the feeling Dave wasn’t initially very comfortable or fond of doing interviews. In this day age, talk show hosts, for the most part, coddle their celebrity guests and throw them softball questions. Dave wasn’t like that back then. His interviews with Madonna, Shirley MacLaine, and Cher made headlines. I think it took a while for Dave to get used to all the parts of being a late-night talk show host. He famously used to wear white wrestling shoes, white athletic socks, khaki pants and a blazer as his hosting “outfit”. As soon as the show was over and the credits started rolling, he would often get up, take off the blazer, and toss it aside.

As the late 80s and early 90s rolled around, I was hooked on Dave’s show, as many were too. He had tremendous popularity amongst college students in America. For me, I was still in junior high and he made my summers tolerable. Summer vacations back then were very boring for me. I didn’t have a summer job, didn’t go to camp, and the Internet was still many years away. Often, the only thing I could look forward to each night was Dave’s show at 12:30am. What would happen on the show this night? What would the Top Ten List be? Was it time for another Stupid Pet Tricks? Would we see Chris Elliot? Would he strap another camera on the back of a monkey? Would a letter from Viewer Mail be from Vancouver? He kept me entertained when I desperately needed it.

In a just world, Dave would have gotten The Tonight Show, as Johnny Carson wished it to be. Alas, the world is not just and television executives can be some of the dumbest people on the planet. So, it came to pass that a big-chinned bastard got The Tonight Show instead and Dave moved to CBS, where he could finally have an 11:30pm time slot. I don’t blame Dave for moving, it was really the only option he had. He will have spent over two decades at CBS, the longest show he’s ever had. At The Late Show with David Letterman, Dave eventually got less unorthodox, a little bit less wacky, and perhaps got a bit more mature. The khaki pants, wrestling shoes, and white sports socks went away, replaced with a real suit and shoes and socks that you might even see a businessman wear. He didn’t stop being funny though. It was at CBS that Dave gave us the likes of Rupert Jee, Mujibur and Sirajul, Alan Kalter, and many other new bits. In the two decades at CBS, he became the elder statesman of late night comedy. Many of the new and younger players in the late night world, respect and to some degree worship Dave. As Dave’s retirement grew closer, the likes of Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O’Brien have paid tribute to him.

Though I’m sure Dave would have liked only his comedy to make the headlines, he was in the news for other things several times in his career. In early 2000, he had emergency heart bypass surgery. In 2005, law enforcement authorities discovered a plan to kidnap Dave’s son, Harry, and his nanny and hold them for ransom for $5 million. Lastly, Dave was also a victim of an extortion attempt from a jilted boyfriend. A boyfriend of one of some female staffers he revealed to have slept with. The extortion attempted forced Letterman to admit to his dalliances.

Despite these setbacks, he survived them all. As a testament to his popularity and people’s respect for his career, the last few weeks of his show have been cavalcade of high-profile guests to bid him a proper goodbye. From comedians, A-list actors, and to two separate US Presidents the accolades for Dave have been plenty. I was lucky enough to see Dave in person at a taping of his show in 2007. It was a life-long dream and I will treasure that experience for the rest of my life.

David Letterman, I wish you a wonderful and long retirement. Thank you for the laughs and for taking late-night comedy to places no one had ever seen before.


On Friday, before the start of the long weekend, my team at work, including myself, packed up all our stuff into plastic totes. There was a move scheduled as we try to get everyone on to one floor. Previously, we had team members spread across two floors. Logistically, it’s better to have everyone on the team on the same floor.

I’m now a veteran of the “EA move”. A company comes in after hours to move everyone’s stuff to your new desk. All you need to do is pack all your stuff into as many plastic totes as you need. Anything that can’t fit into a tote will be moved individually. Everything needs to be labelled though with your name and the location of your new desk.

The external company that comes in and moves everyone’s belongings must have a system for doing this efficiently. For all the moves, I’ve done, I’ve never been around to see how they do it. This particular move involves three separate teams, in our case, we’re kicking out another whole team to make room for our guys.

Anyways, when I get to work tomorrow morning I’ll be at a new desk. This new location is better than my old desk. I’m very close to a window, though not directly next to one. My previous desk was so far away from a window, it was sometimes difficult to see what the weather was outside. My new desk is a little more private too as the last one allowed everyone walking by to see all my computer monitors. Well, here’s to my new home until next February!


In our latest tribute to David Letterman, we go back to August of 1985. In the above clip, Dave is miffed that his 3rd anniversary show saw little promotional power compared to a special version of The Today Show, both shows of course on NBC. During the taping of a prime-time episode of The Today Show, Dave uses a bullhorn to heckle the hosts from a window, high above. Back then, the hosts were Bryant Gumbel and Jane Pauley. Though both hosts were somewhat bewildered at the interruption (they were conducting an interview at the time), Gumbel was furious at Letterman after he discovered who was behind the outburst.

The media has always mentioned this was the start of a feud between Gumbel and Letterman but I’ve always viewed it as a very one-sided deal, with mainly Gumbel mad at Dave. As this was many years ago, there is no animosity between the two now, as evidenced by this interview.

This wasn’t the first celebrity that Letterman got riled up and it certainly wasn’t the last. Dave was especially brave and daring in the 80s. Finally, if you’re curious as to what the interruption looked like on The Today Show end, click here.