On the weekend strong winds and heavy rains pummeled the great Vancouver area. Close to 400,000 people were without power at one time. My sister and her husband had no electricity for over 30 hours. Strangely, I was unaffected and had power the entire weekend. My lights didn’t even flicker once.

The weather turned for the worse quickly. On Wednesday, I was playing tennis on a warm and muggy evening. The rains then started on Friday before the trees began toppling on the weekend. The weather appears to be staying bad for most of the week if the forecast holds true.

This maybe the end of the warm weather for the year in Vancouver. Vancouver is notorious for having an abrupt end to summer. There will be literally one last day of sun and warm temperatures and then it will be continuous rain and gray skies for about six months. There will be no easy transition nor Indian summer. It will be September on Tuesday and I can already anticipate the rainy weather that might dominate the month.

If this is indeed the end of the warm and dry weather, I’ll chiefly disappointed because I won’t be able to play tennis outside anymore. Tennis season for me started in May and I basically played once or twice a week since then. It’s been great for my health and my waistline. There are indoor facilities but it definitely is way less hassle to play outside. Well, maybe it’s time I started to put on some hibernation fat anyways.


There’s a co-worker that sits on the other side of my low cubicle wall. I think we’ve spoken once the entire time he’s been on the team and that’s when he moved all his stuff from another part of the studio to his current space. He’s not part of my scrum or any of the main scrums, so I don’t know what he does nor do I even know his name. I just know he’s a software engineer. That seems kinda bad.

Anyways, he has an endearing habit of humming to himself while he works. He doesn’t do it very often as days could go by before he does it again. He also hums at a perfect volume, not loud enough to bother me but not too soft that we can’t hear it at all. I’m pretty sure he has his headphones on when he does this.

It sounds like he only hums this one tune. I can’t figure out what the song could be. I don’t recognize it. It’s very upbeat and has a relatively high tempo, enough so that it actually puts me in a better mood when I hear him hum this song. My mind tries to fill in missing details and for this particular mystery, it is guessing this song is from the 70s, possibly a catchy pop tune.

I suppose I could just one day ask him what song he’s humming but I think that might embarrass him. I’m ok with not ever knowing what that song is.


As I mentioned in my previous post, my tennis partner and I played in our first doubles match today against some other co-workers. As expected, we lost badly by a score of 6-0, 6-1.

I knew things weren’t going to be ok when I broke a string on my racquet early on in the match. I can’t remember the last time I broke a string during play. It’d probably have to be when I was a teenager when I was playing with very old strings. Not sure what happened this time around. It could be my new racquet that caused that problem. It has fewer strings than a traditional racquet and thus a less dense string bed which could lead to higher forces per string. It’s also possible SportChek just does a terrible job at stringing racquets.

Anyways, I had to borrow another racquet and I actually played half-decent after that. I made a few mistakes but it could have been a lot worse. I think where I failed was that I didn’t prepare my partner for actually playing in-game situations. He found it difficult to volley at the net. We never practiced volleys because I just never thought it would be necessary. I’ve done a ton of volley drills dating back to my teenage years but it never occurred to me that my partner had never done those.

Afterwards, my partner also admitted to me that he wasn’t used to the pace of play. Again, I thought this wouldn’t be a problem because in doubles, there’s only half the court to cover compared to when we practice and it’s just ourselves. Doubles though is a fast game though, where you need to react to sudden volleys from the player at net. I probably should have prepared him for that.

Well, once I get my racquet strung again we’ll go back to practicing and I’m going to focus on all the doubles specific strategies and situations that we never went over before. Hopefully, next time we play, we’ll do a lot better.


I’ve been playing tennis this year since about the middle of May. On average, I play about once or twice a week with my friend, who also happens to be a co-worker (which makes it convenient). I would say we’ve played quite a bit. It may surprise you that in that time, we have not played a single competitive point despite the numerous hours spent on the court.

So what exactly do we do out there? We essentially just hit the ball back and forth. We try our best to let the ball bounce just once at most but sometimes we don’t care. My goal is to just get the ball back over the net and inside the lines. It’s not really competitive at all. Sometimes, if the opportunity presents itself, I’ll hit a ball with a bit more pace or I’ll try to paint one of the corners with my shot. For the most part though, we’re just trying to see how many times we can hit the ball back to each other without dumping it into the net or letting it go long or wide. It’s good exercise and I enjoy the challenge of trying to be consistent with my shots.

Tomorrow though, we go into uncharted territory. Two other co-workers have been playing tennis this summer and we have arranged a doubles match. My partner has never really played a doubles match before. We only just practiced his serve last week. As you might expect, it needs a lot of work. It maybe fair to say I have a lot more match experience than my partner but I suffer from performance anxiety. I’m capable of hitting wonderful shots while we warm up but once we start playing for real, the nerves creep up on me and I wind up either hitting the ball into the net (because my shots are so meek) or I sail it super long (I somehow lose control of my power). It’s an indication that my mental game is weak.

So it’s looking like it might be massacre tomorrow but I hope to at least win a single game.


On Sunday evening I had dinner with my parents, which is a regular thing for me. We decided to go out for dinner. At the end of the meal, we had leftovers, so we packed up some takeout containers. One of the remaining items was some stir-fried noodles, which my parents were gracious enough to let me have.

As we were walking back to the car, my father was concerned about how I was going to heat up those noodles back at my own home. He proceeded to ask me,

“Do you have a frying pan at home?”

I wasn’t sure how to answer that since I was surprised he even thought that was a valid question. My mother began scolding him for asking such a silly thing and then I just laughed a bit before telling him that I indeed did have a frying pan.

I actually currently have three frying pans at home: a trusty cast-iron, a large non-stick, and a smaller stainless steel. I remember having a cast-iron pan in my later years in undergrad at university where I probably cooked and ate steak way more often that I should have.

I suppose my father still thinks I maintain a very spartan and college-like abode, with a single plate and cup, with the barest of necessities. While I don’t purport to have a kitchen to rival a Michelin three-star, I can do better than a boiling a pot of water on a hot plate.

You know, my father is occasionally super surprised to hear that I’m able to do the most common things, which makes me wonder if he believes I’m some sorta idiot savant. In which case, I bet he’s very proud of me for getting this far in life: getting employment, living on my own, and dressing myself in the mornings. Well, that’s not so bad, I think anytime a parent is proud of you, you’re doing alright. Ok, I need to go put on my helmet and get to work.


Have you been keeping track of the world economy lately? The last week was a bad one as fears about oil and the state of China’s economy led to ripples across the globe, of course including Wall Street in the US. Stocks across North America dropped in price sharply and unfortunately, Electronic Arts was not immune to that. In one week, the stock slipped from about $74 to $65, which meant my cache of EA stock was worth about $4K CDN less. Of course none of this was because of the company’s performance. When bad global economic news happens, everyone gets caught in the slide, even companies that are doing well.

Of course, I could dwell on the bad side of these developments but I’ve learned major slides like this represent a fantastic opportunity to buy stocks and funds while the price is low(er). As an experiment in 2008 or so, I bought $1500 in two funds each. This happened around the worst parts of the last recession. I had a feeling this wasn’t really the end of civilization and there would be a time, maybe years and not months, down the road where the economy would recover. To my surprise, I was correct. The $1500 in each fund I put in turned into about $3500 for both. It varies from month to month but my return on those investments are at around 130%.

Now in the grand scheme of things, the $3000 I put into the experiment won’t allow me to retire but it did teach me something. Buying low and selling high is really something that works. Now it appears the blood-letting isn’t exactly over so there’s some luck involved in timing your purchases right. Who knows, maybe I’ll buy more EA stock on my own or invest in more index funds. The worse things get, the more opportunity I see!


I occasionally buy and prepare frozen pizzas for consumption. For all these years, I’ve been cutting up my pizza like a fool with a simple kitchen knife. A few weeks ago, I started to wonder if my life was missing something by not using those circular pizza cutters. Last weekend I was at Wal-Mart and I remembered my pizza cutter curiosity. The cheapest one they had was $9. I thought that was a bit much for something I would only use irregularly. I went to a dollar store instead and found one for $2. That’s more reasonable! Sure the handle is made of cheap plastic and the metal-cutting wheel probably has high concentrations of Chinese lead in it but the important point is that I saved a lot of money.

Anyways, I cooked up a frozen pizza last night and I got to use my pizza cutter for the first time. It was a revelation. I’d been cutting pizza wrong all these years. It was so easy to slice up that pie. Maybe I’ll upgrade to a fancier pizza cutter in the future.


I feel like I’m in a prognosticating mood right now, so I’ll go ahead and predict the 2016 U.S. presidential election as well. I feel like America as a whole has gone insane over the last 15 years or so. As such, I feel the American citizens are crazy and stupid enough at this point to elect Donald Trump as their leader.

You read it here first. Let’s revisit this on November 8, 2016.


I think I’ve seen every single episode of Friends but until tonight, I’d never seen the above deleted scene. As originally scheduled, this scene would have aired just shortly after events of September 11, 2001. In this scene, Chandler jokes with airport security about a bomb. I actually think it was a well-written sequence but I can understand why they chose not to air it.

It is also interesting to note that at the time, the writers thought it was completely acceptable to write a scene about airport security and joking about a bomb. It was totally something Chandler’s character would do. At the time, it had been several decades since anyone had even attempted to hijack a plane in the United States. An interesting piece of Friends history.


There are about two months to go until Canadians vote in the next federal election. Two months is a long time and lots can happen in the various campaigns before the ballots are cast. I’ll let ya in on a little secret though, I know who’s going to win the election. Despite it being the worst outcome, this fall, Stephen Harper and his merry band of Conservatives will blunder their way back into power. I can hear some of you protesting already, as you mention the various polls that have Harper’s party trailing the NDP. In fact, there was a poll released today that had the Conservative slip to third place. It’s all hogwash to me. I don’t trust polls any more than I would trust Stephen Harper.

Polls are misleading and their samples sizes are frequently way too small to be of consequence. The only poll I would trust is if the pollster was able to get data from about 20 million registered voters across the country. That won’t happen so my distrust of polls stays. Here’s another example of why polls don’t mean jack squat. Let me take you back to the B.C. provincial election of 2013. I think we can all agree that during that campaign there was considerable talk from many voters of how terrible Christy Clark’s Liberals had run the province. There was a lot of negative energy about her and it seemed people really wanted to turf her. Hell, nearly every single poll prior to the election had her party on the losing end. Yet, what happened in the end? Her and her stupid morons in the Liberal party soundly defeated the NDP. How did the polls get it so wrong?

So if I don’t trust the polls, why does that mean Harper will win the election? Isn’t it just as likely Mulcair or Trudeau will win? No, and that’s easy to answer. Individually, Canadians are capable of being logical and relatively intelligent. Taken as a whole though, I think Canadians are absolute idiots. As you put more of them together, the collective intelligence goes down and the Harper votes go up. Out of the nearly four hundred friends I have on Facebook, I can think of only one person whom I could guess might vote Conservative. Every time I go online and read the comments about a political story, the most popular comments are those bad-mouthing Harper and the Conservatives. Even in the cesspool that are Internet comments, Harper seems to have no support. So who the hell is voting Conservative and going to win the election for Harper? In short, it’s idiots and old people.

It’s the idiots who will whine about jobs and support for the “little guy” but then toss their vote to a Conservative party that caters to the rich and corporations. It’s this unfathomable disconnect that I’ve yet to reconcile, this ability to work against yourself, essentially giving the government to the ok to screw them. I guess you can’t fix dumb sometimes. Then there are the old people. Old people who have become fearful, afraid of just about anything in the world; afraid of taxes, change, technology, young people, terrorism, and death. These are the easiest people for Harper’s goons to get votes from. All Harper needs is a few commercials where Stevie insinuates that ISIS is about to cross the bridge at Windsor and it’s a done deal. I often wonder if one day when I’m old and ornery, will I suddenly turn into a frightened bastard, so scared of the world that I’d throw my vote away for some right-wing fascists who promise me they’re the only thing keeping Islam from overrunning the Tim Hortons down the street. Will that happen? That’s a question for much later.

For now, remember you read it here first on the evening of October 19th, as you watch Stephen Harper give his victory speech from some hotel in Calgary. What has become of this great Dominion?